Fun Facts About Gingerbread

Whether it’s elaborately decorated houses, candy-adorned men, or simply-iced snowflakes, it’s gingerbread season again and we thought we’d help you get in the spirit by sharing some fun facts about gingerbread. We’ll start off with the woman who deserves the credit for gingerbread men as we know them today. It is said that Queen Elizabeth I had some figures made and decorated to resemble the dignitaries visiting her court.

Folk medicine practitioners would give young women gingerbread men. It was believed that if she could get a man to eat it, he would fall madly in love with her. This isn’t the only practice in which gingerbread was used to achieve dreams. There is a Swedish tradition to make a wish on some gingerbread in the palm of your hand. You then break the gingerbread with your other hand and, if it breaks into three parts, your wish will come true.

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The world’s largest gingerbread man was made by IKEA staff in Oslo, Norway in 2009, weighing a whopping 1435.2 pounds. The record for the largest gingerbread house is held in Bryan, Texas as 60 feet long, 42 feet wide and over 10 feet tall. It is big enough to comfortably house a family of five. During the holiday season, at the Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain in Tucson, Arizona, you can book a private lunch or dinner inside a life-size gingerbread house!

Gingerbread houses date back to the 1600s in Germany, but they became popular due to the Grimm brothers. When they published their fairy tale Hansel and Gretel in 1812, bakers all over Germany began showing off their gingerbread houses at Christmas markets every year. With time they grew to become the international Christmas tradition we know and love today. It is said that during the holidays, enough gingerbread spice is sold that could make 450 million gingerbread. These little men, side by side, could circle the Earth one and a half times.