Baking gingerbread houses, a part of the Christmas decorating tradition in Germany, was brought to the United States with the the Pennsylvania Dutch immigrants. The so-called Pennsylvania Dutch are actually Germans (the Dutch comes from Deutsch which got corrupted in translation). As with a lot of things that crossed the Atlantic, this tradition became super-sized when it hit American shores.
The Gingerbread House competition at Peddler’s Village in Lahaska, Pennyslvania is a popular annual event for keen amateur bakers. Peddler’s Village is an outdoor shopping complex which recreates the feeling of a little town. With more than 70+ boutiques, the place is a popular destination in the suburbs of Philadelphia especially in winter when it’s all lit up with thousands of fairy lights.
Going strong for over thirty years, there are usually lines during weekends to get into the Gazebo to check out the gingerbread houses which are on display from mid-November until early January. Although the houses are fun to make, you can earn some serious cash in this competition. There is $3400 in cash to be won among the four categories: traditional, authentic reproduction of a significant building, student (for teens) and child (under 12’s). The houses are judged on originality, difficulty in making and overall design. You can also get points docked for showing non-edible materials. People can really unleash their creativity in gingerbread, especially when it involves a gingerbread house competition.
Here are some stunning gingerbread houses created for the annual gingerbread house competition in 2014. Note that some of the gingerbread houses aren’t houses at all!
I hope you are feeling inspired if you are making your own gingerbread house this year.