Gingerbread House History

The origin of gingerbread goes back to 992ad and was brought to Germany by an Armenian Monk. The Germans called it pfefferkuchen – literally ‘pepper bread’. The addition of ginger was made to aid digestion.

The Germans took it to Sweden and from there to Denmark and England. A small town in England called Market Drayton in Shropshire claims to be the birthplace of the baking and selling of gingerbread commercially.

gingerbread history

The first Gingerbread house originated in Germany in the 17th century and became a traditional holiday window decoration. The ingredients were based on the German spiced cookies popular at the time.

Gingerbread houses gradually became more popular especially after the famous German fairytale of 1812 by the ‘Brothers Grimm’ called ‘Hansel & Gretel’ in which a wicked witch builds her house out of candies in order to lure 2 children into a trap.

The tradition of making Gingerbread houses with the family during the holiday season soon became popular in America – first New England and then spread throughout.

Gingerbread, in it’s many varieties is made in many countries with their own particular variants of the recipes including: Brazil, Romania, Bulgaria, Norway, Australia and much of western Europe.

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