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History Of The Gingerbread Essay

1294 words - 5 pages

Gingerbread houses are very creative and decorative. Although they may be creative and decorative they have been around longer than one person would think. Ginger bread houses have been around since medieval times. From what sources tell us gingerbread houses have been through 3 major phases. It began in medieval times. Gingerbread houses was then modernized around the 19th century. Finally, its modern usage from the 20th century on to today. (Ultimate Gingerbread, 2013) Also how we shape Gingerbread today and what kind of tools we use to build a gingerbread house and how they are put in competition.
Gingerbread houses began in Europe in medieval times. In that time period people used gingerbread houses for many things. Ginger root was discovered in East Europe by Marco Polo who found ginger grown on the Caribbean islands (Trowbridge, n.d.). It ginger can also be found in Africa, the West Indies, China, Japan, India, and southern Florida.( Where does ginger grow, n.d.) In the 11th century ginger was discovered and used as pastries, bread, ginger cakes, and cookies. Gingerbread has spread throughout Western Europe during that time period (Gingerbread house, n.d.). Also the Crusaders were returning from wars in the Eastern Mediterranean which made gingerbread a delicacy. They shaped gingerbread as a talisman so soldiers could wear it for battle and was also used as protection against evil spirits. In the 13th century gingerbread was shaped in different forms by monks from Franconia, Germany. Also in the 13th century Swedish nuns baked gingerbread to ease their indigestion in the year of 1444. In the 17th century for weddings people used gingerbread for gifts or it was used them as a love token. During that time gingerbread was known as zingebar. (Fallgatter, 1995) A lot of people liked preserving gingerbread at the time. Gingerbread houses were mostly made for competitions at fairs. Some also had a tradition where single women ate gingerbread to have a good chance to meet their future husbands. (Ultimate Gingerbread, 2013) Gingerbread as pastries were preserved at this time mainly in Germany (Ultimate Gingerbread, 2013). During and throughout the centuries gingerbread has impacted many lives. In other European cultures gingerbread was used for all kinds of occasions and reasons not just holidays.
From these beginnings gingerbread houses started to modernize. This is when gingerbread houses were known for their appearances but also for their connections to stories and holidays. For example, ginger bread houses became a part of the story of Hansel and Gretel by the Brothers Grimm. At that time the Grimm brothers were collecting German fairy tales and Hansel and Gretel was one of those stories. The story was published in the 1800s in Germany. What they found in the story was that after the children were lost in the woods they discovered a house made of gingerbread that was decorated with large candy. What they put in that story gave people...

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