Gingerbread White House features a bigger Bo
The president's chefs created an architectural masterpiece using a special gray-white gingerbread. Gingerbread architecture is growing in popularity.
If you’re the White House pastry chef, you’re required to become a builder once a year and construct the official White House gingerbread house.
This year’s gingerbread house, at 300 pounds, is lighter than last year’s. First dog Bo, however, has gotten a lot bigger and would be 30 feet high if he were the same scale as the building. He is made of marzipan.
Instead of using white chocolate or white-chocolate-covered gingerbread to create the exterior, the White House chefs, led by Executive Pastry Chef Bill Yoss, baked a special gray-white gingerbread, made with rye, buckwheat and whole-wheat flour. The color mimics the color of the edifice before 1798, when it was painted to protect the Virginia sandstone.
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The columns and architectural details are made of white chocolate, and interior rooms feature chocolate furniture. Christmas trees were created from blown sugar.
The gingerbread White House, complete with working electric lights, will be displayed in the State Dining Room for visitors throughout the holidays.
The chefs spent a lot of time creating the kitchen garden, using marzipan to craft tiny kale, collards, mustard greens, cabbage, spinach, radishes, onions, endive, lemongrass -- even a candy beehive.
Elaborate gingerbread houses are becoming more common. Around the country, hotels are showcasing elaborate creations, including a life-size house, 28 feet high, at the Mohegan Sun casino and resort in Uncasville, Conn. It weighs 20,000 pounds. New York’s Parker Meridien Hotel has a confection that includes the crane that dangled off a neighboring building after superstorm Sandy.
If you’re wondering how much gingerbread it would take to re-create your house, the real-estate website Movoto has thoughtfully done the math: To build a 2,500-square-foot house, you’d need 9,608 batches of gingerbread from this Food Network recipe. Start with 4,803 cups of sugar.
Think you’re up to the challenge of gingerbread architecture? You can enter your creation in a contest at Architizer.
Gingerbread doesn't seem to have the taste most desired. Edible panties might sell better.
About Teresa Mears
Teresa Mears is a veteran journalist who has been interested in houses since her father took her to tax auctions to carry the cash at age 10. A former editor of The Miami Herald's Home & Design section, she lives in South Florida where, in addition to writing about real estate, she publishes Miami on the Cheap to help her neighbors adjust to the loss of 60% of their property value.