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Gingerbread Scene Celebrates the Season

December 5, 2007


This old-fashioned gingerbread grist mill, inspired by New England tradition, was made by Dining Services’ executive pastry chef Roger Lanctot and his colleague Kerri Buchanan.

On display at Holloway Commons until Dec. 22, the house has more than 40 pounds of gingerbread, 60 pounds of icing, and 20 pounds of candy. It took more than 40 hours to complete.

After the holidays, the gingerbread house will given to Exeter Hospital where it will be displayed in the oncology unit.

Ginger was brought to Europe in the 11th century by crusaders returning from the Middle East. In medieval England, the term gingerbread referred to preserved ginger. During the 15th century it became associated with a type of cake flavored with ginger. Its preservation properties led to making breads that could be cut into shapes.

The Grimm brothers made gingerbread houses famous through their fairytale, “Hansel and Gretel”. After the story was published in the early 1800s, German bakers began making lebkuchen houses and hired craftsmen to decorate them.


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