RFF#74 – Gingerbread may have been an early form of “news media”

It’s likely that gingerbread was firstly created during the 11th century when the crusaders brought spices back from Asia. Apparently, some of the early recipes were like a paste, and thus would be pressed into wooden molds. Interestingly, “gingerbread molds” were often carved to portray the news of day in the form of a storyboard including images of the King, Queen or Emperor. Though historical evidence is lacking, I’d like to think that gingerbread could potentially be considered a form of “news media” or rather “gingerbread media” in an era before the printing press.

A Gingerbread mold of Willem III of the Netherlands

A Gingerbread mold of Willem III of the Netherlands (circa 19th century)

Willem III's wife

A Gingerbread mold of Willem III’s wife

I learned about this fact from: http://easteuropeanfood.about.com/od/crossculturaldesserts/a/gingerhistory.htm

Photo credit: http://www.enotes.com/topics/gingerbread