Gingerbread and Christmas festivities, the tradition

Gingerbread is a typical dessert of the Anglo-Saxon Christmas, a tradition of Northern European origin as far back in time as it is widespread throughout the world. Even today the taste of Christmas holiday cookies, spicy and very fragrant, it is extraordinarily similar to the one described in medieval texts. It is in fact in this era that the gingerbread it spreads in Europe as perfect ingredient for winter desserts and, enriched with new flavors and aromas, it knows its fortune as a typical holiday biscuit.

Why gingerbread at Christmas

Legacy of Nordic culture, i gingerbread cookies they were once considered one real delicacy and usually prepared only on special occasions. And in a sense it is still so today.

Baked in different shapes, from time to time inspired by the theme of the anniversary, Christmas gingerbread cakes take the form of reindeer, snowflakes, houses and little men. And the custom of exchanging them as a present during the holidays has been handed down from the Middle Ages to today.

History and success of the gingerbread man

that ofgingerbread manon the other hand, became popular history only in the twentieth century with the publication of the fairy tale of San Nicola, in 1875. But giving the biscuit the shape of a little man was a custom that began much earlier than then.

Fruit of the oestrus of Queen Elizabeth I of England in person, the first gingerbread men they appeared for the first time in the second half of the sixteenth century, during one of the famous banquets of the sovereign.

The royal origins of Gingerbread man

We are full English Renaissance, in a particularly creative period of the country. It is the time of sumptuous banquets and the discovery of new flavors imported from the Americas. Elizabeth I, famous for surprising her guests at court every time, ordered the kitchens to prepare a special dessert.

According to a reconstruction by Carole Levin, historian and author of the volume The reign of Elizabeth Ito the queen “he commissioned his pastry chefs to make gingerbread men who represented foreign dignitaries and the people at court”.

The result is what we know: a spiced shortbread biscuit, brown in color, scented with ginger and cinnamon, shaped like a little man and decorated in the most creative ways. The trend of giving the shortbread a human shape soon took hold even outside the royal palace, thus starting the success story of the gingerbread man.

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