By Jeremy Rochow
Last updated on: November 30, 2018 at 3:34 pm
’Tis the season to eat gingerbread. This sweet-and-spicy treat flavoured by a lumpy little root is a ubiquitous celebrity over the festive period, but where does it hail from?
Our More for Member partners at Scoffed Cooking School have their very own gingerbread recipe, which they’ve happily shared with you. See how easy it is to make this Christmas treat for family and friends, or read on to discover more about the origins of gingerbread.
A long, gingery history
The specific origin of this sweet snack is unclear, however it may have been introduced to Western Europe in the 11th Century by crusaders returning from the Mediterranean.
Regardless, it didn’t take long for gingerbread to become a favourite across Europe, with varieties differing depending on the region. It became so popular that several cities in France, Holland and England began hosting gingerbread fairs where the cookies were shaped like animals, kings and queens.
Queen Elizabeth I even had a royal baker create gingerbread in the likeness of important guests as a diplomacy tactic.
So, how did it become a Christmas favourite? According to Sweet invention: A history of dessert, the popularity of gingerbread during the festive season can be attributed to spices helping warm people up during the cold northern hemisphere winter.