This heavy and slightly sweet rye bread is made from a sourdough starter and coarsely ground rye with whole rye berries as its base. Its name comes from the German pumpern, a synonym for being flatulent, and the male given name Nickel—a form of the name Nicholas—which was commonly associated with the devil in New High German vernacular.

Thus, pumpernickel literally translates to “devil’s fart,” which is a definition accepted by most publishers and dictionaries, however strange it may sound. The traditional German pumpernickel contains no coloring agents, but instead relies on the Maillard reaction to impart a deep brown color and a sweet, almost chocolatey and earthy flavor and aroma.

Apart from being delicious, pumpernickel is rich in resistant starch which is known to aid digestion and benefit blood sugar regulation.