"And when they approached the little house they saw that it was built of bread and covered with cakes, but that the windows were of clear sugar." The classic Brothers Grimm fairy tale about a boy named Hansel and a girl named Gretel introduces us to the delicious idea that a house can be made out of candy. Gingerbread walls glued together with vanilla icing, peppermint doorways, and licorice-laced rooftops sprinkled with gumdrops set the scene for "The Science of Gingerbread" exhibit that is currently on display at Discovery Science Center (the 108 foot tall Cube off the 5) in Santa Ana.
Last week, I indulged in the simple pleasure of viewing Discovery Science Center's ninety-four local community gingerbread house entries with my good friend and photographer, Janet Wood (her images are shown in this post). Ninety-four unique entries; now that's a lot of gingerbread love!
The exhibit is separated into a few different sections that reveal the 'science in every bite'. Basically, there is a large display area with all of this year's entries plus rooms that focus on the components of what breaks down a gingerbread house, including the science behind the engineering, nutrition, and ingredients. Also, as an added bonus, there's Candyland Lane, which is a blacklight-lit maze that requires 3D glasses!
This year's entries came from both corporate organizations and local residents. The houses were exceptionally fun with themes as original as "SpongeBob's House", "Snow Valley or Bust" and "Fire and Icing" to classic ideas like "Santa's Workshop and "Winter Wonderland". The award-winning entries are out-of-this-world wonderful. Check out The Great Park Balloon, carting a little gingerbread man in front of an old-fashioned hanger (above). Look at the intricate detail in Heather Zubiate's "Christmas Cathedral" entry that won her an award for Most Realistic Creation (below).
There was even a nativity scene entry complete with a gingerbread baby Jesus asleep in the manger and marshmallow-coated sheep.
This exhibit is sugar and spice and everything nice, and it is a great place to take any candy admirer, culinary artist, holiday enthusiast, or young aspiring house-builder (kids who like to lick frosting off their fingers work too). Gingerbread houses are fun, beautiful and even magical. Even the President has one. Read about the Obama family's breathtaking gingerbread house complete with a mini marzipan Kitchen Garden here.
Make sure to visit this sweet holiday exhibit at Discovery Science Center soon! It lasts through January 3rd.
Listening to "Mele Kalikimaka" by Bing Crosby