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« Run, run as fast as you can.  You can't catch me, I'm the Gingerbread man!  Everyone knows the story of the little Gingerbread man, but from what country does it originate? France? Great Britain? Germany? Central Europe? Russia? No, actually the story comes to us directly from the United States.

So, does that mean that gingerbread originated there?

Absolutely not! It is said to have originated in Egypt, Rome or China, unless it was Russia or… Pithiviers (via Armenia!)

In reality, it comes from nowhere and everywhere, in the shape of a heart, a pig or Saint Nicholas.  It is unique and common.  Whether moist as can be or crunchy like a cookie, it always exudes a delicious aroma and is a healthy treat.

Does it help one learn to read? Was it used as a deadly weapon? So many legends or rumours about it bear witness to its fame!  So many questions!

Is it bread? Under no circumstances.  Is it cake?  Not really.

Then, what is gingerbread?

One thing is sure, there is definitely a renewed interest in gingerbread: It's made a strong comeback at Christmas markets and among major chefs where it plays a role in recipes that are both sweet and savoury.

In this little treatise, Mireille Gayet explores all the regions of the world where gingerbread plays a leading part and offers her readers close to a hundred recipes, from classic and traditional to original and surprising: From one gastronomic surprise to the next, there is something to tickle every palate!


PETIT TRAITÉ DU PAIN D'ÉPICE, Mireille Gayet, Éditions Le Sureau, 256 pages, 14x22cm.