Ah ginger! From sweet to savory, candied, fresh, or dried and powdered, ginger ale, ginger wine, ginger tea - the possibilities are endless! At Christmas time, we think of gingerbread.
The crusaders are credited with bringing gingerbread to England in the Middle Ages. The first recorded recipe is dated 1390, with instructions to soak ginger, honey and breadcrumbs to produce a 'bread'.
Queen Elizabeth 1 was the first to shape them into the image of 'gingerbread men' to please her court and dignitaries. They were often elaborate with intricate design and gold leaf.
Their popularity grew and the were sold at fairs throughout the mid 17th century. A gingerbread seller is featured in Ben Johnson's play, St. Bartholomew's Fair.
The Gingerbread Boy was immortalized in St. Nicholas Magazine in May, 1875 when a childless woman baked a gingerbread boy for her husband, but he runs away saying,
"Run, run, as fast as you can.
You can't catch me, I'm the gingerbread man."
Gingerbread men are still popular today and the dough has been used to bake almost everything imaginable, with a few examples below.
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romance and treasures within and around them
that are often dismissed or completely overlooked."
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