A History Of Gingerbread

Gingerbread Day – Nothing says the holidays are have arrived quite like gingerbread.  There are gingerbread houses, men, cookies and loaves among other things!  Since I tend to always be a tad inquisitive (kind of goes with the legal profession) I decided to learn a little about where gingerbread came from and why those little houses.

“Run, run, fast as you can,

You can’t catch me, I’m the gingerbread man!”

~ The Gingerbread Man, a fairy tale


Gingerbread has been around a long time, and in fact, the first known recipe for gingerbread came from Greece in 2400 B.C. The Chinese have recipes recorded in the 10th century, and in Medieval England, the term gingerbread simply meant “preserved ginger” and wasn’t applied to the desserts we are familiar with until the 15th century.  Gingerbread houses originated in Germany during the 16th century.  The decorating of the houses became popular when the well known tale of “Hansel and Gretel” by The Brothers Grimm became popular. It was at that time that the houses migrated to the US, coming here with German settlers. And now, according to the Wilton Blog, over 2,000,000 houses were made in 2011, how far we have come!!

PBS writer Tori Avey has done a great job of getting to the bottom of gingerbread fact and fiction. She even has the world record gingerbread house specs from 2013, spanning more than 40,000 square feet. Now that, gingerbread men and women, is quite the place!! If you are interested in reading more on this fascinating history, that has become a tradition please click here.

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