Sweet-toothers pay attention – Shops for sweets
If you love sweets that were made with love or alternatively lovingly selected, Cologne has a few surprises in store for you. Here are some unusual shops where sugar is everything and sky-high glucose levels are guaranteed. Yummy!
Bärendreck-Apotheke: All about liquorice
Bärendreck-Apotheke (Bärendreck, a colloquial term for liquorice, translates literally to “bear muck”) is a tiny but exquisite store near Rudolfplatz that has specialised in international liquorice specialities for over a decade. Liquorice enthusiasts come here for more than 500 different varieties from around the globe, from medicinal natural liquorice and sweet and salty/sour bulk candy to rarer products – the more exotic of which, to me, include liquorice-flavoured sea salt for cooking, liquorice-infused toothpaste and liquorice pudding, which looks like a regular caramel pudding on the box.
Bärendreck’s range also extends to liquorice-based cooking ingredients and cosmetics, although my confirmed favourites are the neatly lettered compartments of bulk candy. The friendly staff know their stuff and can help if you’re looking for something specific. Because I just can’t choose, I put together a mixed bag that’s charged by weight and enjoy the delicious sweets one by one.
Address: Richard-Wagner-Straße 1, 50674 Cologne
Hernando Cortez Schokoladen: A chocolate lovers’ heaven
This boutique between Neumarkt and Ehrenstrasse sells hand-selected chocolate products such as filled chocolates, chocolate bars, spreads and more from all over the world.
To name but a few: chocolate bars by Bonnat, a family-owned manufacturer, with absolutely no traces of nuts; extraordinary organic chocolates by Georgia Ramon; and products by Kilian & Close, a specialised boutique manufacturer of vegan chocolate. The staff are happy to advise customers on the product range and will also put together gift baskets on request. If, like me, your eyes or shopping bag barely can’t get enough of the stuff, move to the in-store café area and enjoy a hot chocolate and other delicacies.
Hernando Cortez Schokoladen
Address: Gertrudenstraße 23, 50667 Cologne
PS: To find out more about this cocoa-based product, head to Cologne’s Chocolate Museum, whose permanent exhibition covers cocoa production, chocolate manufacturing and the history of chocolate. There’s even a real chocolate fountain where visitors can sample the real thing in its liquid form!
Address: Am Schokoladenmuseum 1a, 50678 Cologne
Honig Müngersdorff: Oh, honey!
Honey specialist Honig Müngersdorff has been around since 1847, so it’s a veritable Cologne institution. Besides a large range of candles and cosmetic products, Müngersdorff sells around 35 variations of honey including its bestseller varieties “Kölner Blüte” and a Black Forest honey. Among the more unusual honeys are Manuka honey from New Zealand and the quite rare clover honey, plus ginger, nut and sea buckthorn honeys. The shop also sells various honey-based confectionaries year-round, such as delicious honey bears, various honey candies, honey waffles, honey cake and – a new discovery for me – pieces of Hungarian honeycomb to suck on. Honey fans won’t know what hit them!
Address: An St. Agatha 37, 50677 Cologne
Madame Miammiam: Handmade cakes & candies
This exclusive boutique in the Belgian quarter is the go-to place for those in search of extraordinary cookies, petits fours or an entire gateau.
Madame Miammiam doesn’t just take orders for gorgeous cakes for any occasion, it also sells cute little favours which are much too pretty to eat, but great for giving away. Besides the gateaux and cupcakes, Madame also creates delicious macaroons, a wide variety of hand-adorned shortcrust cookies and charmingly decorated petits fours both with and without a Cologne theme. Plus there’s home-made candy bars flavoured with poppyseed and cranberry, pumpkin seed and almond-apricot, or torrone and millionaire’s shortbread. Miam miam indeed. 😉
Address: Antwerpener Straße 39, 50672 Cologne
The Tasty Pasty Company: A taste of Olde England
In theory best known for its Cornish pasties, this store in Lindenthal also sells a variety of sweet delicacies from the UK: home-made biscuits, cakes (including an incredibly moist carrot variety) and scones which, spread thickly with clotted cream and strawberry jam, will make you yearn for an English summer even in the depths of a Cologne winter.
And there’s flapjacks, shortbread and most importantly, four varieties of proper English fudge which are available to pick’n’mix. My personal favourites are the peanut butter Nutella and the Oreo cookie flavoured options. By the way, all of this and more can be enjoyed in the friendly on-site café along with a coffee or a cup of nice English brew.
The Tasty Pasty Company’
Address: Dürener Straße 64a, 50931 Cologne