Pumpernickel is one of those words that rolls off the tongue and sounds almost playful. It is a a dark coarse sourdough bread made of rye flour and rye berries. The name comes from the German pumpern, meaning to break wind and Nickel meaning goblin or satan. The name stems from its reputed indigestibility and is crudely referred to as 'the devil's fart' by some dictionaries. The long cooking time is what gives it its dark color.
There are stories about the name coming from the French and Napoleon, but they have been debunked.
Pumpernickel is great and commonly found on hors d'oeuvres trays, topped with caviar, smoked Salmon, or other goodies. It is referred to as an 'upscale bread' and you can find it is upscale shops. In the US some add molasses to get the dark color without the long cooking time. It is great eaten in small doses and is also wonderful with strong cold cuts and cheeses.