Friday, 10 August 2012

Run run, as fast as you can…

…You can't catch me, I'm the gingerbread man!

Well this time, the sly old fox was me, that got to eat the gingerbread man!

A recent trip took me to Ashbourne in Derbyshire, home to the longest pub sign in the world and the maddest and biggest football match held at Shrovetide. Ashbourne's proximity has earned it the title of Gateway to The Peak District.

Ashbourne is also famous for its gingerbread biscuits and as far as I know there are a couple of places that make and sell them in the town. I visited Birds which resides in a black and white timber framed building in St Johns Street – you can't miss it as there's a hanging sign on the outside clearly depicting a gingerbread man.

Ashbourne gingerbread is not what you'd might expect, being much lighter in colour than the more familiar recipes. It is rather like a firm shortbread biscuit flavoured with ground ginger.
Its history is fascinating and the recipe is said to have been brought to the town by French prisoners during the Napoleonic wars. The personal chef of a captured French general reputedly made it in 1805 and his recipe was copied and used locally.

I just love the gingerbread men which are so traditional with their currant eyes and buttons and glacé cherry mouth – it makes a change from some of the over iced, grotty-looking ones covered with Smarties you often see.

For those who no longer indulge their inner child, 'knobs' can also be bought. Mind your teeth though as the thickness and hardness can be tricky to bite into!

Photos: © childsdesign
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