Gingerbread Houses

Monday, May 16, 2011
This is one of 26 beautiful Gingerbread Houses you can view in a photo gallery at Martha Stewart's Website. I can't imagine the time that goes into making one! Very creative!

The harder German-style Gingerbread is often used to build gingerbread houses similar to the "witch's house" encountered by Hansel and Gretel. These houses, covered with a variety of candies and icing, are popular Christmas decorations, often built by children with the help of their parents.
Since 1991, the people of Bergen, Norway, have built a city of gingerbread houses each year before Christmas. Named Pepperkakebyen (Norwegian for "gingerbread city"), it is claimed to be the world's largest such city. It's free for every child under the age of 12 to make their own house with the help of their parents. In 2009, the people of Bergen were shocked when the gingerbread city was destroyed in an act of vandalism.
Another type of model-making with gingerbread uses a boiled dough that can be molded like clay to form inedible statuettes or other decorations. Medieval bakers used carved boards to create elaborate designs.
A significant form of popular art in Europe, major centers of gingerbread mold carvings included Lyon, Nürnberg, Pest, Prague, Pardubice, Pulsnitz, Ulm, and Toruń. Gingerbread molds often displayed the "news", showing carved portraits of new kings, emperors, and queens, for example. Substantial mold collections are held at the Ethnographic Museum in Toruń, Poland and the Bread Museum in Ulm, Germany.,  Victorian Gingerbread House, Noah's Gingerbread Ark

You can read more about the different varieties and the history of gingerbread at Wikipedia. You can also see a video on building a gingerbread house HERE. Read about the largest gingerbread city in Bergen, Norway HERE.

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