Gingerbread Funko POPS
Gingerbread refers to a broad category of baked goods, typically flavored with ginger, cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon and sweetened with honey, sugar or molasses. Gingerbread foods vary, ranging from a soft, moist loaf cake to something close to a ginger snap. A Gingersnap, ginger snap, ginger nut, or ginger biscuit is a globally popular cookie flavoured with ginger. Ginger snaps are flavoured with powdered ginger and a variety of other spices, most commonly cinnamon, molasses and clove. There are many recipes. The brittle ginger nut style is a commercial version of the traditional fairings once made for market fairs now represented only by the Cornish fairing. Originally, the term gingerbread (from Latin zingiber via Old French gingebras) referred to preserved ginger. It then referred to a confection made with honey and spices. Gingerbread is often used to translate the French term pain d’épices (literally “spice bread“) or the German terms Pfefferkuchen (literally “pepper cake“, because it used to contain pepper) or Lebkuchen (of unclear etymology, either Latin libum, meaning “sacrifice” or “sacrificial bread“, or German Laib for loaf or German for life, leben). Pepper is also referenced in regional names like pepperkaker or perník (originally peprník).
The meaning of gingerbread has evolved over time, for centuries the word was used for a traditional European pastry, closer to a cookie, like what is used to make gingerbread men. In the United States, the first known recipe for “Soft gingerbread to be baked in pans” comes from American Cookery (1796) by Amelia Simmons. Gingerbread is claimed to have been brought to Europe in 992 CE by the Armenian monk Gregory of Nicopolis (also called Gregory Makar and Grégoire de Nicopolis). He left Nicopolis (in modern-day western Greece) to live in Bondaroy (north-central France), near the town of Pithiviers. He stayed there for seven years until his death in 999 and taught gingerbread baking to French Christians. It may have been brought to Western Europe from the eastern Mediterranean in 11th century. Since the 13th century, Torun gingerbread was made in Torun, then State of the Teutonic Order (now Poland). It gained fame in the realm and abroad when it was brought to Sweden by German immigrants. In 15th century Germany, a gingerbread guild controlled production. Early references from the Vadstena Abbey show that the Swedish nuns baked gingerbread to ease indigestion in 1444. It was the custom to bake white biscuits and paint them as window decorations.
In England, Gingerbread was also thought to have medicinal properties. 16th century writer John Baret described gingerbread as “a kinde of cake or paste made to comfort the stomacke“. Gingerbread was a popular treat at medieval European festivals and fairs, and there were even dedicated gingerbread fairs. The first documented trade of gingerbread biscuits in England dates to the 17th century, where they were sold in monasteries, pharmacies and town square farmers’ markets. One hundred years later, the town of Market Drayton in Shropshire, became known for its gingerbread, as is displayed on their town’s welcome sign, stating that it is the “home of gingerbread“. The first recorded mention of gingerbread being baked in the town dates to 1793, although it was probably made earlier, as ginger had been stocked in high street businesses since the 1640s. Gingerbread became widely available in the 18th century. Gingerbread came to the Americas with settlers from Europe. Molasses, which was less expensive than sugar, soon became a common ingredient and produced a softer cake. The first printed American cookbook, American Cookery by Amelia Simmons, contained seven different recipes for gingerbread. Her recipe for “Soft gingerbread to be baked in pans” is the first written recipe for the cakey old-fashioned American gingerbread.
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