We want you to think about something, to picture a scenario that I’m sure you have found yourself in innumerable times. You are at home or in a local pub or coffee shop. Your friends, family or relatives are there with you and you are enjoying a nice cup of coffee, or beer, or wine or even a cocktail, depending on the place, time of the day and occasion.
You are chit-chatting, talking about the new things in everyone’s lives, new relationships, job opportunities and so on. Then, all of a sudden, you come to the part where you talk about the places everyone’s visited or planning to visit. It is your time to shine and you tell everyone about the plans you have made for the summer and the places you are going to visit.
This is where we need your help. Try and remember, what was the first thing your friends, family or relatives suggested? Was it to visit a specific place, monument or something of the sort? Or perhaps… to try out a local dish, a local specialty?
If it was the latter, then objectively speaking, it’s because the different dishes and meals leave the most impression on us. Let’s be honest, who doesn’t love to eat and enjoy good meals? Sure, visiting a historical monument, going to the beach to swim or sunbathe, or taking a look at the local nightlife scene is all good and dandy, but it’s the food that sticks with us the most.
It is because, subconsciously, we start associating the food that we’ve eaten with the places where we ate it. Food can literally “make or break” one’s entire experience of a destination. That is why locals chefs in destinations with a lot of tourist try to constantly outperform themselves. All so that the customers are satisfied, and they come back for more. If they happen to bring along some friends next time, that is even more of a win.
Besides all of that, there are tourist agencies which deliberately advertise the famous local dishes as attractions in order to lure in large amounts of new tourists. The Berger cookies are one such example, as they are exclusive to the Mid-Atlantic area and can’t be bought anywhere else in the US, with the exception of online purchases.
The locals in Baltimore are proud of their Berger cookies, even going so far as to say that tasting one of the cookies is a life-changing experience. We can’t say for certain that they are life-changing, but they sure do look great.
That is why today we are taking a look at this “Pride of Baltimore”, to see what is special about them, and why they are such a phenomenon amongst the local populace of Baltimore. For starters, we’re going to talk about Baltimore itself, to provide you with some background info.
After that, we are going to shift our focus to the Berger cookies. Following that, you will be able to read a quick history of how the Berger cookies came to be, and the etymology behind their name.
Although they’re the beloved sweets of the Baltimore citizens, they have certain controversies connected with them, and we thought, for transparency’s sake, that it was worth to talk about these. Last but not least, we will finish off the article with some interesting facts concerning the Berger cookies. Let us start off with a look at Baltimore city!
Baltimore is a place located in the federal state of Maryland and is its most populous city. Besides being the state’s largest, that is, the most populous city, it is also the thirtieth most populous city in the entirety of the United States.
It has a population of over six-hundred-thousand people. When talking about the larger metropolitan area, Baltimore has a combined population of over two-million and eight-hundred-thousand citizens, which places it as the twenty-first largest metropolitan area in the States.
It is located about 65 kilometers northeast of the nation’s capital, Washington D. C., which plays into the fact that Baltimore and Washington D. C. are the only places where you can physically purchase the Berger cookies.
Baltimore also sports the second largest port in the Mid-Atlantic area. This port was the second-largest hot-spot for immigrants who came to America in the twentieth century in the hopes of achieving the American Dream. An interesting little bit of info right there.
Baltimore also used to be one of the largest industrial centres in the state. However, in recent years, it has shifted to a more service-oriented economy, and the Berger cookies tie in nicely with the premises of such an economy.
Another interesting fact is that the city of Baltimore has an unusually high number of neighborhoods, which has earned it the title of “the city of neighborhoods”. Some of the most famous of Baltimore’s residents include Edgar Allan Poe, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Tom Clancy, Tupac Shakur, David Hasselhoff, Babe Ruth (one of the most famous baseball players of all time), Michael Phelps and many others.
What is important for us, however, is that the city is home to the delicious Berger cookies. But how did these cookies come to be? Well, the story of their origin is an interesting one, and we’re bringing it to you in full detail.
It includes a story of immigrants from Germany looking for a better life “over the pond”, and their attempt at making the American Dream a reality. Looking at the business today, we can say that they have succeeded, and that they have certainly left a legacy to be proud of. Read on to find out more.
Berger Cookies are cookies exclusively made and distributed by the DeBaufre Bakeries. A Berger cookie is a baked goodie topped with a luscious thick layer of chocolate fudge made from traditional German recipes.
The thick chocolate frosting of this cookie is what most people crave for. Though, essentially, the cookie itself is also delicious. The cookie recipe actually won numerous awards in the Baltimore area, which includes the Best of Baltimore Award in 2011. The Best Cookie award was also rewarded to the recipe that same year.
Berger Cookies have also been crowned as the most delicious dessert in the world. For those people who have no idea why such a title is given to a cookie, the main reason is that it is indeed a delicious goodie. It is a shortbread cookie slathered with chocolate fudge. The appearance alone is enough to make anyone wish to eat it, and one will surely fulfill your cravings for something sweet.
The name Berger cookie comes from its creators, Henry and George Berger. Henry and George were the sons of another Henry Berger who was the owner of the East Baltimore bakery. It was the younger brother Henry who inherited the old bakery, while George and their other brother, Otto, each opened their own bakeries. When Otto died, Henry and George decided to combine the other two bakeries and thus, the Berger cookies were born.
When Henry passed away, George became the bakery’s sole proprietor. When George retired, he sold the Berger cookie recipe and the bakery to Charles Russell, who passed the bakery and the recipe to his son Charles E. Russel Jr., who in turn passed the business to his two sons, Charles III and Dennis, upon his own retirement.
The bakery and the recipe stayed with the Russell’s until the DeBaufre brothers Charles and Benjamin (former bakery employees of the Russells) earned enough money from their own bakery and bought the Bergers in 1969. From then on, the Berger cookies would be baked and distributed from the DeBaufre bakeries only.
Image source: Berger Cookies
What makes Berger cookies different from other commercially available cookies and biscuits? Well, each Berger cookie is handmade and only produced from one place; from a small factory located in Cherry Hill, Baltimore. These cookies made up 98 percent of the DeBaufre bakery’s annual sale for 2012.
If you are interested in having a taste of these famous, delicious cookies, it is worth knowing that the company only sells their Berger cookies online and also in the Baltimore and Washington D.C. areas. Berger cookies are available in three variations:
In January of 2013, the bakery was closed due to lack of proper licenses. Operation went back to normal after the company obtained the requirements on March 5, 2013. Another controversy surfaced when the FDA proposed a ban on trans-fats.
The DeBaufre Berger’s owner and president Charles DeBaufre Jr. stated that the ban could pose potential problems for their Berger cookies because the key ingredients contain cotton-seed oil and hydrogenated soybean, both of which are sources of trans-fats.
It was also stated that several attempts have been made to eliminate trans-fats from the cookie production. The results were discouraging. However! The DeBaufre bakery managed to achieve its goals, and now their cookies are trans-fat free!
The following are some interesting facts about the famous Berger cookies from Baltimore:
From the humble roots, Bergers continued prospering as it has grown to become one of the most beloved and recognized cookie manufacturers in the Mid Atlantic area. The company is so proud of its origin that they still maintain the same traditional recipes – with minor adjustments to the ingredients, as it is essential to adjust to the development of raw material processing of modern times.
The company’s commitment to their goal stayed the same; to produce products of the highest quality. Berger cookies are products that the loyal customers will continue to enjoy, and new clients will discover and crave for.
So, if you are ever in the Baltimore area, do not be surprised if the locals encourage you to taste their pride and joy, the Berger cookie.
Image source: Berger Cookies
The Berger cookies are very loved by the people of Baltimore, and anyone who goes to the area is greeted with instant advice to try these delicacies out. As we have mentioned earlier, do not be surprised if the locals try to persuade you to try them out.
And do not be afraid to do so! You will be missing out on one of the best things Baltimore has to offer to its new visitors! Anyways, that is it for today’s article. As was already said, we hope you enjoyed it, and as always, cheers until next time!