December 9th, 2016 by Priya Nicholas
Saturday 10 December is Gingerbread Decorating Day a day set aside for cooks, bakers, kids and parents to spend joyfully baking and decorating their gingerbread creations.
The history of gingerbread is a long one. It was first brought Europe (France) over a thousand years ago in 992 by an Armenian monk, Gregory of Nicopolis, who had brought the necessary spices (ginger, cloves, cinnamon) back from the Middle East. From here the gingerbread recipe slowly made its way round Europe and to Sweden by the 13 century where it was made by nuns as a medicinal food. It was also their custom to paint the biscuits and hang them in the window as decorations.
The Germans first stared making houses out of gingerbread in the 16th century. The elaborate cookie-walled houses, decorated with foil and gold leaf, soon became associated with Christmas tradition – possibly because the white icing resembled snow. Their popularity rose when the Brothers Grimm wrote the story of Hansel and Gretel, in which the main characters stumble upon a house made entirely of treats deep in the forest. It is unclear whether or not gingerbread houses were a result of the popular fairy tale, or vice versa.
For Decorate a Gingerbread Day, we are bringing you something no less festive and no less stunning. But a whole heap easier to make: a gingerbread wreath. This is a perfect creation for the whole family to get involved with. Get the recipe and step-by-step instructions here.