Julekake: A Christmas Tradition

The holidays wouldn't be the same without family traditions, and Petee's Julekake is no exception. 

 

Julekake is a Norwegian Christmas Bread baked with cardamom, raisins, orange peel, and candied citron. It is excellent as a sweet breakfast treat at Christmastime, or as a comforting after dinner dessert. When served warm with sliced gjetost, a fudgy caramelized cheese, the sweet and savory elements yield a flavor profile that is truly unique and undeniably festive.


For a long time, the best place to find traditional Julekake bread was at Nordic Delicacies, one of the last remaining relics of New York’s Little Norway. A former staple of the neighborhood, the Bay Ridge deli was known for expertly preparing authentic Norwegian fare, especially at Christmastime.


Between 1987, when Nordic Delicacies opened, and their closure in January 2015, the neighborhood’s demographic changed drastically. The Norwegian population and culture that once consumed Bay Ridge had all but disappeared. When Nordic Delicacies closed, Julekake faced extinction on the New York food scene-- luckily, the aromatic Christmas bread wasn’t gone for long.

 

Petra began baking and selling Julekake at Petee’s the following Christmas, paying homage to her maternal heritage. She grew up with Julekake, and even baked a loaf to bring to her 6th grade holiday food show and tell using her great aunt’s recipe. Her personal ties to the tradition have influenced how the bread is prepared at Petee’s today; every loaf is baked with care and attention to detail. 

 

 

Food is a love language, and food that is baked with an emotional investment just tastes better. Petee’s uses locally sourced farm fresh eggs, organic flour from Champlain Valley Milling, and non-homogenized milk and butter from Ronnybrook Farms in every loaf of Julekake. The quality of ingredients becomes especially important when you’re responsible for keeping a tradition alive. We are proud to serve Julekake that pays tribute not only to Petra's familial roots, but New York's rich cultural history.

 

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