The long history of pumpernickels continues at Leipomo Rosten


Leipomo Rosten wants to raise legendary pumpernickels again to children’s and nostalgia-hungry adults’ lips.

Rosten’s bakery is said to have started when Helli Rosten began baking in Raunistula of Turku in 1939. Kari Meltovaara has been running the business from the turn of the 21st century, and the old family business under his leadership has found among bakery products the offerings that are its cup of tea.

Rosten’s first great hype was experienced at the beginning of the 21st century when Meltovaara found Italian and French bread based on a long rest. This was a base for Rosten’s Crusta bread. Nothing like that had been done in Finland before, and the bread became a success.

Rosten has since made corresponding innovation, for example, with seed crispbread. Ideas are certainly searched for abroad but the diverse bread culture in Finland also inspires Rosten.

“We have an exceptionally rich bread culture in Finland. Breads are often divided according to dialect areas. Rolls are traditional on the west coast, flatbread and rye bread in the north and Karelian pasty in the east. Regional diversities are still huge”, Meltovaara enlightens.

Hidden history of pumpernickels

The latest newcomer to Rosten’s product family is pumpernickels which were earlier made by Axo.

“Pumpernickels are a nostalgic product which often brings back childhood memories, so we immediately decided to invest in them”, says Rosten’s marketing manager Veera Meltovaara.

The origin of pumpernickels in Finland is vague even at Axo which was the first to make them. The first information on official manufacture comes from the 1940s and the recipe has since remained the same. In Germany a pumpernickel usually means heavy sourdough bread made with coarsely ground rye and syrup. According to the tradition, sweet-and-sour oval-shaped German gingerbread was also called a pumpernickel. Finns who had visited Germany brought that gingerbread with them to Finland already in the late 1930s, and a Finnish pumpernickel is a variation of it.

New rise of pumpernickels

A Finnish pumpernickel tastes like basic gingerbread but it is a bigger and oval-shaped biscuit glazed with pink sugar icing. Rosten sees endless potential in pumpernickels for variations according to seasons, and the newest innovations for glazing taste are liquorice and Christmassy glögi (mulled wine). The nostalgic value of pumpernickels has also been noticed when the product has been presented at different fairs.

“An elderly gentleman almost burst into tears when he saw pumpernickels. He told us that after the war there were no other delicacies available so the glazing was first licked away from the pumpernickels very carefully and then the biscuit was sucked as slowly as possible”, says Veera Meltovaara.

In the future Rosten will launch different tastes of a pumpernickel and also a smaller size.

“The pumpernickel is a product of good mood which suits delicacy moments, coffee buffet table or with a glass of champagne. We have wanted to communicate this also with our slogan: Why macarons when we have pumpernickels”, the Meltovaaras say in unison.

See Essi Rantanen’s avocado bread recipe for Leipomo Rosten:

See other recipes created for Leipomo Rosten

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