Friday, December 20, 2013


Today I would like to introduce you to these tiny men who live in every bakery in Basel in the countdown to Christmas, the Grättimaa. Grättimaa are approximately 20 cm tall, have a round belly and an even rounder hear with two big black eyes. Made of a soft, sweet dough, their eyes are two raisins and they're sprinkled with pearl sugar. Grättimaa are to be enjoyed on St Nicholas' Day (6th December) but they start to pop up in town in November and sometimes stay around until Christmas time. Though they're already delicious on their own, I like mine spread with a bit of butter. Yummy!

In Switzerland St Nicholas, known as Samichlaus, is also a very important celebration and a very special day for children, who wait all year long for him to bring them some small present (you can read about his Dutch counterpart in this post). Children will also enjoy many a small treat, including chocolates, mandarines and or course, grättimaa, which many families also bake at home on the run-up to 6th December.

Grättimaa are typical from Basel but similar baked goods can be found in every other Swiss town and also in other German-speaking countries. Usually without sugar on top, they receive very different names according to the region they come from. Only in Switzerland, they are known as Elggermaa in Thurgau or Grittibänz in many other parts of the country and in Germany they are called Stutenkerl, among other names.

Nest yearI might even try to bake my own grättimaa but I'm already happy that I've enjoyed a couple of them this season before they disappeared from the local supermarkets.

Do you also have traditional Christmas treats in your countries?
Which are your favourites?
Have a lovely weekend!


  1. Me parecieron renacuajos a primera vista, ejejej. Interesante tradición. Aquí en España ya sabes que lo más tradicional es el roscón de reyes. Bss, Irene y felices fiestas por si acaso:)

    1. jejeje la verdad que tienes razón, parecen un poco unos renacuajos :)
      Me encanta el roscón de reyes y es lo que más echo de menos de las navidades en España. Eso y los mantecados de coco :)

  2. Those are so cute and I bet they are so good! Hmmm, we have egg nog ice cream but i think that's everywhere. LOL I like to see local traditions.

    1. Oh, I had never heard of egg nog ice cream, I don't think we have that in Europe - not at least in continental Europe!
      I also like to learn about local traditions and I'm really thankful for the internet to bring us the world a bit closer to home :)

  3. Pretty interesting shape and they look festive. I wonder how they taste, if they're moist inside and if they're like brioche somehow. (Been having a lot of brioche lately).

    1. Yes, actually they're brioche-like, I think. They're really soft and slightly sweet, but not too much.
      I'm glad to read that you're enjoying a good dose of brioche :)


Thanks for your comments!
I appreaciate your love and reactions.
I'll take a look at your blogs and I'll try to reply as soon as possible
Feel free to follow if you like :)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...