Joey looked over at the disks. They were all lying flat on their backs groaning. Their rims and backs were made of a thick pastry, and gooey red raspberry jam filled their exposed topside.
As Joey pulled himself off the deck, he noticed that the groaning sounded like a familiar melody. Tiny hands and feet waved in the air. The threesome looked like flailing bugs stuck on their backs. Now that he was standing, Joey could see that each disk had one, and only one, very large eyeball.
Joey helped them to their feet, which was no small task considering how small their hands were. That and the fact that Gingerbreadians have no fingers.
“Who are you guys?” asked Joey.
In beautiful harmony, they each sang out their names.
“Franz,” sang out the smallest one.
“Wolfgang,” sang out the medium one.
“Johann,” sang out the biggest one in a deep baritone voice.
Then all together, “We are the Linzer Tart Trio.”
Joey was puzzled.
“What…” he started.
They began to sing:
“We are the Linzer Tart Trio,
Never sing O Sole Mio,
We were born in three,
A wee too early,
And oh how we love piano!”
“But I’ve never heard of Linzer Tarts.” said Joey. “Where’s your lattice?”
“Because we were not fully baked,
lattice removed for our sake,
We’ll never be tortes,
In Austrian courts,
Tart, Sablé, Eye, never a cake!”
“So you’re like mini Linzer Tortes with no lattice?” asked Joey.
They each blinked their big eye and nodded.
“And what’s with all the singing?” asked Joey.
And they started again:
“We descend from musical stock,
Mozart, Strauss, Schubert, but no rock,
Others are posers,
You’ll never find us at Woodstock.”
“Oh, that explains it,” said Joey. “But why are you here? Why were the wolves chasing you?”
The trio looked at each other and blinked their big eyes again. A huge raspberry tear formed in little Franz’s eye. It dropped on the deck and froze instantly. Johann let out a low hum. This time the tune was much more somber as they slowly sang their sad ballad.
“The storm was an awful surprise,
The Danube did rapidly rise,
The levies fell down,
The wolves did surround,
We barely escaped with our eyes.”
All three of the formerly chipper trio looked glum.
“Oh my gosh,” said Joey, “I’ve got to get back to my bed before Nurse Schlimm realizes I’m gone! Come on, follow me. Maybe I can talk her into some hot chocolate to cheer us all up.”
So with Joey leading the way, the trio tucked in their arms and legs and rolled after him.
- The city of Linz, Austria is a major port on the Danube River.
- Austria has produced some of the world’s greatest composers, among them: Franz Schubert, Johann Strauss, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
- The oldest known recipe in the world is for Linzer Torte (1653). It is a cake that is often made for Christmas. It is made of Linzer pastry dough and is filled with jam and other ingredients. Thin slices of pastry dough are then used to form a lattice on top of the filling.
- Variations of Linzer Tortes include smaller tarts, and cookies called Linzer Sables, or Linzer Eyes. The Linzer Eyes have no lattice. At The Solvang Bakery, we make Linzer Eyes/Linzer Tarts (we call them Owl Eyes)…we even served them to Lance Armstrong when he trained in the Santa Ynez Valley!