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Discover the taste of the past             

        A tradition hundreds of years old,

 well known all over Central, North, and East Europe.

One of the first and the most popular sweets 

that people could buy at the town squares during 

the Medieval Times, but still popular today.

Slovakian culture highly honored the honey. Greek historian Priscup is writing about our ancestors in 448, that the honey was an important part of our cuisine. (where is the honey, there is the honeybread too)

In the middle ages, the honeybread was still baked in monasteries and sacrificed to gods, but also baked   by craftsman honeybread bakeries which paid the taxes already in 14th century.  

 

More info:

TRADITIONAL SLOVAKIAN

DECORATED HONEYBREAD AND GIFTS

medovnik

 

1.     What it is?

 

Slovakian MEDOVNIK, translated as HONEYCAKE or HONEYBREAD, is more than a cookie/cake. It is a form of art, a tasteful decoration. It is the oldest and most popular cake in Central, North and East Europe . 

It is very well known by Slovakian, Czech, Polish, Ukrainian, Hungarian, Croatian,  Serbian, Bulgarian, Slovenian, Russian people, but also German, Austrian, Holland, Finish, Northway and Denmark people. It seemed to be discovered by old Slavic or Germanic tribes...who knows. Good things travel fast...

Most of the nations don't decorate them, or decorate them simply, with nuts, seeds or simple icing decoration.

Just a couple nations took a whole advantage of it and created something amazing:

Slovakian and Czech people people must have fall in love with honeybread a hundreds of years ago...only the love could lead them evolve such a beautiful folk art- very precisely decorated honeybread.

Medovnik/ Honey-cakes were one of the first sweets that people could buy at the market stands in town squares.  Now-a-days, the tradition continues and people are buying Honey-cakes as presents for their loved ones, symbolizing love, friendship and appreciation. In Slovakia , in particular, it would be an expected tradition that every woman would receive a decorated heart-shaped honey cake.

Another feature of medovnik/honey-cake is that its special preparation can make it last for months, or even years unchanged, allowing people to use it as an ornamental decoration in their homes. 

 

2. How can Honeybread be used?

You have several choices:

You can either eat them, or save them as a decoration. If you prefer a softer cookie, eat them sooner. If you prefer a crunchier texture, or like to dunk your cookies in coffee, you can enjoy them as a decoration for awhile before eating them.   We do not use artificial preservatives, so over time these beautiful and tasteful cakes harden. The sooner you eat them, the softer they are.  The honey acts as a natural preservative so you can continue to consume the honey cakes for up to four months. To preserve them, keep them wrapped in a dry place. When you decide to eat them, if you like them softer, just place them in a plastic bag or a jar with a slice of apple over night. Consume them the next day since the moisture affects their lifespan.  

        Attention/ Caution:

In the more complicated decorative structures like honey-cake houses, wooden sticks have been used for stabilization. Some models with mini lights in the interior will also have a battery. Before consumption of these honey-cakes, dismantle and separate honey-cake from other inedible parts.

 

History:

The history of honey-cakes goes back as far as the history of honey. The honeybees lived on our planet 15 million years ago, long before humans did. We know for a fact that honey and milk were the main food consumed by prehistoric people. In 1919, a spider web cave was found in Spain with a 15-20000 year old mural showing people collecting honey from wild bees.

Honey-cake itself has a long history. Prehistoric people came up with the idea of mixing flour and honey together to bake a sweet cake. Prehistoric people considered the honey to be a food of the gods, so at ceremonies requiring sacrifice, honey cakes were also offered.

Ancient Greeks gave out honey cakes in many shapes and forms at their ceremonies.

In one Egyptian grave, pieces of honey cake were found among the other artifacts.

Slovenia, as an old European nation, highly honored honey. In the middle ages, people were baking honey cakes in monasteries for use as a ceremonial food, but also by craftsman honey cake bakers.  They called them DULCIARIUS.

At that time they were using rye flour and cooked honey. The dough had a unique feature in that its quality improved over time.  Daughters of the honey makers were given big barrels of dough as their wedding gift.  They were able to keep the dough for as long as 30 years. The recipes were family secrets that were passed on only to their children.

In Slovakia the society of honey makers formed in the year 1619. Export of honey from Slovakia was a big business at that time.  For example, in 1593 they exported 953 euro tons of honey to Vienna .

The honey-cake trade in the late 1900 started to slow down due to the sugar trade. At the same time the new innovation of tin baking forms was introduced.  Until then, honey-cakes had been baked in carved wooden forms, but with the arrival of tin baking pans, interest in the old wooden forms also slowed down. Honey cake started to be baked in these new tin forms.  Also, to compete with colorful cakes made from sugar, honey cake changed its original form, and began to be iced with colorful icing sugar. Sometimes pictures and tiny mirrors, attached with decorative icing frames, were also added to the tops of the honey-cakes.

A new era of honey-cake making in Slovakia started after the fall of communism in 1989. Many who were holding this tradition only within their family lines opened up businesses of honey-cake making. There is not a town square without a number of stands selling honey-cakes, most beautifully shaped and decorated. They all have their own recipes and decorative techniques and styles.  They are truly amazing and truly an art.

 

  A European tradition transported in all its glory to Canada .

Hand-made, fat-free, preservative-free, traditional recipe.

 

Copyright 2010