History of gingerbread in Russia

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History of gingerbread in Russia
History of gingerbread in Russia

The history of gingerbread in Russia has more than one hundred years. These treats are loved by adults and children. They are different: honey, cinnamon, mint, chocolate and, of course, Tula. The production technology remains the same. Gingerbread is considered a Russian confectionery, part of the country's cultural heritage. Many people wonder: how did this treat come about?

gingerbread origin story

Where did gingerbread come from in Russia

History does not answer this question. It is impossible to say for sure, but there is a legend that the Vikings brought them to us. They allegedly taught the Slavs how to cook delicious honey cakes, which later acquired a form familiar to every inhabitant of Russia. Initially, the dough for them was prepared from rye flour and honey, baking which? received honey bread.

But this version is not confirmed by anything. The Slavic tribes living on the territory of Russia grew rye and were engaged in beekeeping - collecting honey from wild bees. Therefore, it can be assumed that this delicacy was not brought from somewhere. It is from ancient timesprepared by the ancestors of the Russian people.

history of gingerbread in Russia

Gingerbread in Russia

According to the official history of origin, gingerbread appeared on the territory of Russia in the 9th century. The recipe included: rye flour, honey and wild berry juice. The most significant ingredient in quantity was honey, accounting for almost half of the total. Each city had its own special recipe. Over time, various useful herbs began to be added to gingerbread. They were considered healing. After the bath and with hot tea, they really benefited.

The history of the appearance of gingerbread in Russia includes the period of importation of exotic spices from India and the countries of the East, they began to be added to the dough. Here, bakers, who were called gingerbread men at that time, had a large field to choose from. Such spices were added to them, which today are difficult to imagine in sweet pastries. These were dill, black pepper, cumin. It is more understandable for a modern person to add anise, vanilla, cinnamon, lemon, mint, cloves or ginger to this confectionery product. All these components were also added to the dough.

history of gingerbread

The origin of the word "carrot"

In all likelihood, this confectionery got its name from the word "spice", which comes from the old Russian "ppr" - "pepper". Gingerbread is the original designation for peppered or spiced cookies.


History has preserved evidence that from the 17th to the 19th centuries there were crafts for their manufacture.The composition and technology were kept in the strictest confidence. This delicacy was available to all classes. They decorated the tables of kings and peasants. Their consumption has become a tradition associated with the life of people. In total, there are three types of treats, depending on how it was produced: stucco, printed, die-cut, or carved, gingerbread. The name was based on the manufacturing principle, but the products could have a different dough composition. The history of the emergence of gingerbread has several periods, in each of which there was a certain type of delicacy. Let's take a look at each one.

history of Russian gingerbread


It was made in the form of birds, animals, fish, people. Often the gingerbread was molded in the form of a house. This species appeared in pagan Russia, when instead of animals and birds, products fashioned from dough were sacrificed to the gods. Initially handmade gingerbread had a cult significance and was used at religious celebrations. Gradually, they began to be used as treats at household holidays: weddings, name days.

The history of gingerbread in Russia began with stucco, which came from pagan Russia. Today, meeting them is a rarity, as they are baked in the northern regions of Russia. The gingerbread was similar to a molded clay toy and was called "roe", "grouse", "vitushki". The latter were made from thin flagella of dough, woven into unique intricate patterns. For mass use, other types of gingerbread began to be made, as they made it possible to bake more sweet treats.

history of gingerbread


Prepared using a gingerbread board, in which a special print was hollowed out, decorated with ornaments, flowers, images of people and animals, as well as various inscriptions. In the history of Russian gingerbread, this is the most beautiful. In addition, there were special devices in the form of a rolling pin, on which drawings were cut out, after applying them to the dough, each gingerbread was cut out with a sharp knife.

Sometimes gingerbread was a real work of art. Drawings of Russian fairy tales, epics, small scenes of urban or rural life were applied to them. The beauty of the gingerbread largely depended on the master who made the gingerbread. The specialists who made them were called flagmen. The printed boards were made from certain types of wood: linden, birch, maple and walnut.

They were piece and type-setting. The first were used to make large gingerbread in a single copy. As a rule, these were "tray" treats that were intended for gifts. Type-setting boards consisted of many small molds, which made it possible to get a large amount of goodies at once. Large gingerbread cookies, consisting of 120 small molds, have been preserved.

gingerbread story

Cut-out, or cut-out

For its preparation, a special template was used, which was applied to the rolled out dough and its silhouette was cut out. This is a later type of gingerbread. Appeared in the middle of the XIX century. The first mention dates back to 1850. The production of this type of gingerbread was marked by the transition to mass production.


Each region baked its own special gingerbread, in which all sorts of combinations of additives were added: from overseas spices to berries and herbs growing in Russia. Gradually, it became not only tasty, but also a painted delicacy. To give it a beautiful golden color, burnt sugar was mixed into it. The pink color was given by crushed dry raspberries or cranberries. From above they were doused with glaze and applied beautiful patterns. Such gingerbread was called dipping. Gingerbreads were given for name days, church holidays, celebrations.

There are more than 20 types of products baked in different places. In Arkhangelsk - roes, in Tula, Perm and Ryazan - Tula, in Vyazma, Kolomna, Kaluga - Vyazma, in Kursk, Novgorod - indigenous, in Moscow - Moscow honey. The history of gingerbread in Russia is a component of culture. These products were present in all spheres of life: celebrations, holidays, everyday life, folk art.

Mass production

Gingerbread production by the end of the 19th century was an enterprise that made it possible to satisfy the need for them not only in a certain area, but also in neighboring regions. They were exported abroad, where they were popular. Gingerbread factory owner Ivan Popov had specialized Russian gingerbread shops in Paris, Berlin and London.

Baking the product was mostly hereditary, secrets passed down from generation to generation. Some dynasties of gingerbread existed for several hundred years. There were the titles of "master" and "apprentice" toto get them, one had to pass a difficult exam, which was attended by experienced experts in their field.

Tula gingerbread history of origin

Tula gingerbread

This delicacy is the most famous in Russia. The history of the origin of Tula gingerbread has more than 300 years. In the expositions of many museums, old printed boards with various patterns and inscriptions have been preserved. They belong to the XVII-XVIII centuries. In Tula, they baked mint, honey, elegant printed gingerbread with various berry fillings. In addition, small, unprinted zhamkas were made here, which were available to all segments of the population.

Tula gingerbread is famous for its trade in many Russian cities. Shops and stalls were opened in Moscow and St. Petersburg, where they sold delicious delicacies from Tula. Fairs were held in the city, where Tula bakers exhibited their products. The most famous was held on the tenth Friday after Easter.

Gingerbread sold a great variety: vanilla, raspberry, almond, chocolate. Their shape was different: round, rectangular, figured, type-setting, carpets, divided into shares. The most expensive were gingerbread in elegant tin boxes. They were made at the factory of the confectioner Grechikhin.

Russian gingerbread was famous not only in Russia. At the famous Nizhny Novgorod fair, where merchants from many countries came, mostly from China, India, Iran, Turkey and Afghanistan, Tula gingerbread was in demand.

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