Construction permits on new gingerbread homes are not issued until the first week in December, after which the confectionary edifices spring up everywhere.
Gingerbread houses were first built in Germany, Scandinavia, and Russia, and popularized in the 17th and 18th centuries. Gingerbread men, as they were later called, drew up the original blueprints.
When you Google "gingerbread house," you're smacked with thousands of images of immaculately tailored and creative Christmas-oriented goodies -- with lots of icing -- plus a lot of old Victorians near Golden Gate Park.
Not many of these bread-based homes, naturally, are suitable for habitation. But they taste good. And they look cool. Here's a list of a dozen of the weirdest ones we found. Just make sure to click on the picture for enlarged, gingerbread-y goodness.
1. Who made this -- Sid and Marty Kroftt?
Is this supposed to be a cartoon, or a photographic representation of actual food? It appears to be mounted on aluminum foil, which a cartoon would not require. It also seems to contain purple gingerbread, gumdrops, and deformed people. Another weird thing: A glowing object sits just inside the house. Kryptonite, perhaps, for flavor?
2. Ginger foundation slab
Well, seeing as a house typically has as many as four walls... this is more like the picnic pavilion where Boy Scout Troop 1034 had that sausage blowout last summer.
And gingerbread homes are generally constructed out of thin, cracker-like sheets of gingerbread. These Stonehengian slabs don't even look tasty, what with all the fluorescent splooge on it.
3. Overambitious much?
Hope this final project got a good grade. Many of us have never experienced the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright immortalized in gingerbread. No word on whether this developed the problems -- sagging cantilevers, water leaks galore, mold -- that Wright's famous Fallingwater did.
A kindergartner made this. While it demonstrates that perhaps this young man became distracted during his appointed task, we love how he managed to make a scrambled egg on the side of the structure. Brilliant, kid.
This nightmarish scene -- one can only shudder at how Hansel and Gretel must have reacted -- includes one damn fine gingerbread house. Green gumdrop trees, peppermint chimney, ginger-snap roof... obviously a detailed and twisted mind was at work. The monolithic Graham Monster is stuff Christmas nightmares are made of.
6. Structurally unsound... yet creamy
You know when you're buying a new house and you hire a home inspector? This is the kind of thing a pastry chef needs a "CONDEMNED" sign for. If this is under construction, it's time to get a new contractor. Lumpy walls are never good. And what are you supposed to do if you live there -- climb in the damn window?