Celebrating Pastry

To celebrate the beginning of the new carnival season, we give you Berliner!


This traditional German pastry is much like a doughnut just without the hole (to make up for this it’s filled with a bit of jam – usually apricot). Berliner is as essential to carnival celebrations as mince pies are to Christmas. There’s simply no way around them. By the way, don’t call them Berliner in Berlin – they are known as pancakes there.

In the Rhineland, the stronghold of German carnival, there exists a much smaller kind of doughnut. It’s shaped like a little ball, doesn’t have any filling, and is fried in hot oil until it is a deliciously warm golden colour. While it’s still hot it is covered in sugar, and eaten as soon as possible. A very, very special treat! I have never seen these in supermarkets or bakeries, they seem to be something people make at home on Shrove Monday while waiting for the carnival procession. Interestingly enough, Shrove Tuesday is also known as Pancake Day in the UK.

Doughnuts and, indeed, pastries that look a lot like a Berliner can be found all around the world. If this kind of pastry is part of your national cuisine, please let us know as we’d love to find out more about the traditions associated with it. But for now, let’s get into the carnival mood!


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