Since Armenian monk Gregory of Nicopolis brought gingerbread to Europe in 992, the treat has become a staple of the Christmas season. Gingerbread traditions vary – unmarried English women used to eat gingerbread men in hopes of landing a husband. These days, people decorate gingerbread people and build gingerbread houses mostly to further the holiday spirit. But to some, it still means a whole lot more. Check out some of the world records for holiday gingerbread.
Longest Piece of Gingerbread
Most of us don’t have the skill or patience needs to construct a massive gingerbread person, home or village, but you have to start somewhere. In 2009, Stefan Koch and Konrad Friedmann built the longest piece of gingerbread on record. Coming in at 3,451 feet and 5 inches, the piece of gingerbread used 1,700 kg flour, 1,700 kg honey, 1,000 kg walnuts, 900 kg hazelnuts, 550 litres of milk and 160 litres of Kirschwasser (cherry brandy). Single plates of gingerbread (50 cm x 72 cm) were glued together using a combination of lemon juice, icing, sugar and water.
Last month, Jon Lovitch from New York constructed a gingerbread village consisting of 157 buildings, 135 residential and 22 commercial. The chef spent an entire year working on Gingerbread Lane, which covers 300 square feet and weighs 1.5 tons. The small village also boasts a world class public transportation system complete with cable cars and an underground subway. Gingerbread enthusiasts can visit the world record-breaking village at The New York Hall of Science through January 12, 2014.
Photo Credit: Insider Images/Andrew Kelly
Only a few weeks ago, members of the Texas A&M Traditions Club in Bryan, Texas erected the record-breaking gingerbread house. This sweet mansion is a total of 39,201.8 ft³ – 60 feet long, 42 feet wide and 10.1 feet tall at its highest point. It was built to raise money for the nearby St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital; visitors paid $2 per child or $3 per adult to enter the gingerbread house and visit with Santa Claus. Ninety percent of the materials used to build the house were donated. In accordance with Guinness World Record requirements, the house is edible, containing about 35,823,400 calories. The Traditions Club has held this world record for the past seven years.
Weighing 1,435 pounds, this one-of-a-kind gingerbread man probably has a hard time finding pants in his size. The staff at IKEA Furuset in Oslo, Norway created the gingerbread man in 2009, baking the whole thing in one piece. The Norwegian gingerbread man beat the previous world record holder – a 1,308-pound gingerbread man built in 2006 by the Smithville, Texas Chamber of Commerce for its annual Festival of Lights celebration.
Hopefully all of that sugary sweetness didn’t make you sick to your stomach. It’s a lot to swallow. Building gingerbread people and houses of your own with your family is a great way to enjoy the holiday season. If you particularly love one of your gingerbread creations, coat it with several layers of varnish to transform it into a holiday decoration that will last a lifetime.
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Alli Sands is a freelance writer. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.