According to the Food Timeline, gingerbread has been around for centuries, but has shifted and changed with the times, as most things do.
For example, in the 1930s it was credited with saving marriages.
All Alice had to do was buy a little black satin number and make the dessert her questionably devoted husband enjoyed as a boy in his plantation home. Whoosh! All lustful thoughts of Bonbon Betty Thornton fly out the window!
Here's another happy couple thanking Brer Rabbit for their marital bliss.
The creepy bunny seems to have pulled the kids in too.
Rabbits are not the only animals to be associated with molasses, and therefore, with gingerbread.
Enter the dromedary.
And not just ANY one humped camel. This one is an angelic dromedary who talks to pictures of the mothers of dead presidents.
Good old George just can't resist Momma Washington's gingerbread.
Apparently Queen Elizabeth liked gingerbread men, which eventually increased their popularity, and changed the recipe. This waving gingie interested me because of the mysterious holes in his hands:
Why does he have holes in his hands?
Gingerbread houses appeared on the scene after Hansel and Gretel were popularized. What child wouldn't love a book with a cover like this:
(Night terrors anyone?)
Here's a version that I might really try:
It's made from the real stuff rather than the cardboard slabs of "gingerbread" bought in a kit at Le Boutique Big Box.
Humans could actually consume it.
And that brings us to today. Or at least, to 2006, when the world's largest gingerbread house was constructed.