Food. Gingerbread, all the Fun of the Fair. What? no Ginger in Ginger Bread!

Gingerbread Houses and their Inhabitants

Simple Gingerbread Men lined up for decoration.
Simple Gingerbread Men lined up for decoration.
A Cute little Gingerbread House, a pretty holiday tradition.
A Cute little Gingerbread House, a pretty holiday tradition.
The Original Gingerbread Cake sold at Funfairs.
The Original Gingerbread Cake sold at Funfairs.
Gingerbread people obviously too tasty for their own good!
Gingerbread people obviously too tasty for their own good!
An Upmarket Gingerbread House, fun to make from scratch or from a kit.
An Upmarket Gingerbread House, fun to make from scratch or from a kit.

Fairground Pleasure. Gingerbread, All the Fun of the Fair!

Recently, while browsing in the book section of a thrift shop in New Zealand, I came across an old cookery book which I bought for the princely sum of one dollar. It was published in 1976 by a group calling itself CARE. This acronym stands for Citizens Association for Racial Equality and was founded to promote racial harmony. CARE was bitterly opposed to Apartheid and discrimination against Maoris, It states in the book that all deserts are the same, only gardens are different. It contains recipes from around the world. The book contains a fascinating collection of recipes donated by the citizens of the countries

One recipe caught my attention becuse it was from Wales where I was born. It was a recipe for Gingerbread. The book went on to state that this recipe was for old fashioned gingerbread sold at country fairs in times gone by and was surprising as Ginger was not one of the ingredients. The book went on to say that ginger wasn't originally an ingredient in gingerbread.

My interest was piqued and I carried out further investigation ito the history of Gingerbread. The sweetmeat was brought to France in 998 by an Armenian Monk and again it it states that it was honey fruit and flour but no ginger. It became very popular in France and later traveled to the British Isles where it was sold in special shops or at Fairgrounds. Honey became superceded by Molasses and it often contained mustard.

The addition of dried ginger as a spice happened quite recently and added a definite zest to the sweetmeat. Today Gingerbread men are very popular with children, especially when they make and decorate the little figures themselves! The gingerbread dough is often fashioned into elaborate Ginger bread house at holiday time with competitions being held for the best and most elaborate. The word "Gingerbread" is used ti describe the ornate wooden decorations added to Victorian houses to good effect. Gingerbread certainly spiced up lives in the past ages and is still with us today.

Ginger is also used to describe hair color and ginger hair was considered "hot" and an indication of a quick temper. A bright chesnut horse was also described as ginger and supposed to be flighty, this was sometimes the case, but it is a glorious hair color. There are so many ways to enjoy ginger, gingerbread being one of them. Enjoy!

Gingerbread Recipe

Here is the recipe for Welsh Fairground Gingerbread:

INGREDIENTS

Flour 300 gms, Milk 125 ml

Demerara Sugar 150 gms, Candied Peel 50 gms

Butter 100 gms, Black Treacle 150 gms

Pinch of Salt, Cream of Tartar 1 Tsp

Baking Soda Half Tsp.


METHOD

Sift the flour with the soda, cream of tartar and salt. Rub in butter, add sugar and candied peel and mix with treacle and milk. A teaspoon of ground ginger may be added if preferred.

Bake in a greased tin at 150' C for about 1.5 hours.

This recipe is for a cake style Gingerbread.


Gingerbread has long been associated with Christmas in the form of Gingerbread houses. These are painstakingly crafted from sheets of gingerbread of biscuit type. They are decorated with icing and candy .Gingerbread brings pleasure to all ages.

Gingerbread Men are cut out forms that children love to help to decorate. Many children's books contain Gingerbread Men as the main character

Gingerbread houses are also pretty ornate with decorated mouldings trimming the porches and gables. They were mainly built in the late 1800's or the Victorian era in England. This is astyle of architecture that you either love or loath fr its over decorated look.

Gingerbread has come down the ages to be a pleasant addition to our lifestyle Enjoy!

Other Aspects of Gingerbread

A "Gingerbread" House showing it's ornate style usually dating back to the late 1800s.
A "Gingerbread" House showing it's ornate style usually dating back to the late 1800s.
Sumptuously decorated Gingerbread Biscuits reminiscent of ancient gilded script.
Sumptuously decorated Gingerbread Biscuits reminiscent of ancient gilded script.
The Gingerbread Shop where delicious cookies may be found!....All photos courtesy of Flickr.
The Gingerbread Shop where delicious cookies may be found!....All photos courtesy of Flickr.

The Gingerbread House

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Comments 14 comments

Judy 6 years ago

Good article Raye. Love the photo with the caption, "Gingerbread people obviously too tasty for their own good!" xox Judy


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Thanks for coming by Judy. Always good to hear your comments. Miss you, back soon. xx


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

Thank you for a very interesting hub.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Hi Hello hello, glad you found the hub interesting. Thanks for coming by.


Lee B profile image

Lee B 6 years ago from New Mexico

I love ginger and gingerbread! Like Judy, I also loved the photo "Gingerbread people obviously too tasty for their own good." Tooooo cute! Interesting, fun to read hub.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Ahoy there! Thanks for coming aboard! Glad you like the hub.


Dim Flaxenwick profile image

Dim Flaxenwick 6 years ago from Great Britain

That was great fun to read. Mouthwatering too. Thank you.x


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Thanks for coming by Dim. It's one of my favorite treats.


reddog1027 profile image

reddog1027 6 years ago from Atlanta, GA

Makes me want to start baking and eating.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Hi reddog1027 lovely to see you. Is your home a Gingerbread house? Enjoy the baking.


scarytaff profile image

scarytaff 6 years ago from South Wales

Nice hub, Gypsy. They all look delicious.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Thanks scarytaff, they are. Thanks for stopping by.


2patricias profile image

2patricias 6 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

Pat says: My mother used to make 'gingerbread' which was really more like a dense cake. All I know of the recipe is that it did not contain ginger. She used to serve it with whipped cream.

Interesting and unusual hub, Thanks.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Interesting 2patricias, thanks for commenting and telling us that.

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