A quick trip into the whimsical world of gingerbread.
First let’s look at the original gingerbread, a baked treat available in many forms…from moist cake to crunchy snaps, but most often a decorated cookie.
They first appeared in the 10th century, created by an Armenian monk. He started in what is now modern-day Greece, then went onto what is now modern-day France to teach others this delightful form of baking.
In the 13th century, German immigrants brought tasty treats to Sweden and it was also made in Poland. Swedish nuns would bake white biscuits and decorate them to hang in windows.
Medieval England soon joined in the fun and gingerbread became widely available in the 18th century.
The Americas were introduced to gingerbread by settlers from Europe near the end of the 18th century.
Today, recipes abound, both in those treasured family collections and in books, magazines and online.
The decoration of gingerbread has become an art form. From simple houses built of gingerbread and decorated to display at Christmas time in our homes to grand houses created by master chefs in places like Walt Disney World’s Grand Floridian Resort.
The world of arts and crafts has become a mecca for gingerbread designs. Quite popular as ornaments, often decorated as cookies, but made of wood, plastic canvas and more. Paper mache houses gain new charm when painted in traditional gingerbread style.
Doing an online search for gingerbread painting patterns brings up a host of wonderful designs by a plethora of brilliant artists.
Feel free to share your gingerbread treats with us here on the blog. Send your photos to
firstname.lastname@example.org. (Please do not send it to the magazine.)