Gingerbread - Gingerbread Houses and Decorations

Gingerbread Houses and Decorations

The harder German-style gingerbread is often used to build gingerbread houses similar to the "witch's house" encountered by Hansel and Gretel. (The witch's name is Frau Pfefferkuchenhaus; "pfefferkuchenhaus" is the German name for "gingerbread house".) 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.

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Famous quotes containing the words decorations, gingerbread and/or houses:

    Let the realist not mind appearances. Let him delegate to others the costly courtesies and decorations of social life. The virtues are economists, but some of the vices are also. Thus, next to humility, I have noticed that pride is a pretty good husband. A good pride is, as I reckon it, worth from five hundred to fifteen hundred a year.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882)

    Janie works hard, of course, and she’s a good wife and mother, but do you know she’s never once made a gingerbread house with her children?
    Mildred Hastings (b. 1924)

    The name of the town isn’t important. It’s the one that’s just twenty-eight minutes from the big city. Twenty-three if you catch the morning express. It’s on a river and it’s got houses and stores and churches. And a main street. Nothing fancy like Broadway or Market, just plain Broadway. Drug, dry good, shoes. Those horrible little chain stores that breed like rabbits.
    Joseph L. Mankiewicz (1909–1993)