Why do we make houses out of gingerbread?


Have you ever built a gingerbread house with your friends or your family? Amidst all of the fun, did you stop and wonder when and why people started making houses out of cookies and candy??

The history of gingerbread goes back hundreds of years. Ginger comes from the gingerroot, which has been used by people for a long time for everything from flavoring food to calming an upset stomach. Gingerbread candies, cakes, and other treats started appearing in bakeries all over Europe in the Middle Ages.

Decorated, flat, cookie-like gingerbread had the strongest origin in Germany, where they were sold in fairs and markets, particularly around the holidays. According to some histories, people in certain German villages would make gingerbread versions of their homes and then assemble them together into gingerbread versions of their town! As part of the New Year celebration, the town's children would then take apart and eat the display! Yum!!

by Mya Kagan (Whyzz writer)


Besides a gingerbread house, what other fun things can you think of that you could try to make with gingerbread? For example, you could try making a gingerbread train, or a gingerbread boat! You could make a gingerbread schoolhouse or a gingerbread playground, too! Draw or sketch some ideas of what these things would look like make of gingerbread! What kinds of edible candies or other garnishes could you use to add features to your gingerbread landscape??


Ostroff, Angela. The History of Gingerbread. The Germantown Academy.Dorfman, Marjorie. Gingerbread Throughout History: A Sweet Holiday Retrospective. Eat, Drink, and Be Really Merry IngestAndImbibe.com