Food - Drink
Rye Vs. Pumpernickel: What's The Difference?
To the untrained eye, rye and pumpernickel bread seem very similar: they both have a darker color; sweet, sour, and earthy flavors that pair nicely with cream cheese; and origins in Germany. However, beneath one's surface impression, you'll find that your average rye and pumpernickel differ in taste, color, and nutritional content.
Types of rye bread include Jewish rye, dark rye, and light rye, and pumpernickel is actually a variety of rye bread. Light rye has a milder taste, while darker rye has more intense flavors from ingredients like molasses and cocoa powder; either way, rye is high in fiber and can improve heart health, digestive health, and blood sugar levels.
Pumpernickel is a dark variety of rye with especially strong sweet and sour flavors. It’s one of the healthier rye breads, according to VeryWell Fit, with a slice of pumpernickel containing 2.1 g of fiber, which is slightly more than the 1.9 g that Healthline lists for regular rye; additionally, baking a loaf of this bread is not for the faint of heart.
According to the German Food Guide, the traditional recipe for pumpernickel is made from rye meal, which needs to be boiled for hours to soften. After baking, loaves of pumpernickel need to steam for 16 to 24 hours to solidify their color and sweetness, and this process further differentiates pumpernickel from other ryes.