“Our Sumatra is about a ¼ square quarter of an hour big and mainly grows pepper – the island Java is even bigger but not done yet – on Banda, which is three times as big as the concert hall, nature delivers nutmeg, on Amboina it is clove...”
The Upper Franconian poet Jean Paul reported on the Hofer spice trade in code.
In his novel “the invisible loge” (1793) he described islands in the Saale – he calls them “Spice Islands” – on which the Hofer merchant and mayor Franz August Köhler stores big amounts of spices, coffee, oils, tobacco and more in warehouses. A roadway, on which merchants’ carriages from Amsterdam rolled in, lead through stately tree rows to the spice houses.
When the bouquet “Hofer Allerlei” was composed – and more importantly who composed it – out of the different aromas is unknown.
It has always been used in Hof for different Sunday roasts. It is also used in fish stock and is an essential ingredient for ‘Saure Zipfel’.
The decent but characteristic blend of spices started its triumph at the beginning of the 20th century.