Real-Life Hansel and Gretel – You Can Now Dine in a Life-Size Gingerbread House

You can now be Hansel or Gretel for a day, thanks to this life-size gingerbread house made of hundreds of pounds of sugar, spice, and all things nice. Located in a resort in Marana, southern Arizona, the house is actually a restaurant that serves its very own three-course menu. Fear not, there’s no wicked witch inside waiting to eat you!

The one-of-a-kind house is the creation of three pastry chefs at the Ritz Carlton, Dove Mountain in Marana – they decided to get together this holiday season to make a gingerbread house that’s more than just a display. “There’s a lot of gingerbread houses out there but usually it’s just a facade and the inside is forgotten about,” said head pastry chef Daniel Mangione. “But this year we really wanted to see if we could make it different.”


The staff at the hotel were initially skeptical about the idea, but Mangione and his team pulled it off, managing to produce a 19-foot edible gingerbread structure. They started working on it in June this year, making batches of gingerbread in the form of reddish bricks every single day. The project required massive quantities of ingredients – 200 pounds of ginger powder, 400 pounds of honey, 50 pounds of cinnamon, and 10 pounds of nutmeg.


Once they had about 4,000 ginger bricks ready, it took 13 men four days to tile the exterior of the house. They then added gumdrops and peppermints on each tile in a precise pattern, and made windows framed with candy-cane trim. The house was opened to the public on Thanksgiving and the team has had to do a quick check every day to make sure none of its components have gone missing. A few peppermints have disappeared, and some children were caught trying to lick the walls!


Entry into the house is free, and it costs $150 to reserve the whole place for a private sit-down dinner for six – food not included. But some guests wanted to know how much it would cost to spend the night in there – they were apparently in love with the warm, sticky sweet smell of the interiors. One man actually wanted to buy the house for his grandchildren.  


The house will be dismantled sometime this week, but Mangione has promised to return with something equally enticing next Christmas. “We want to do something a little different,” he said. “We’re not really sure what that might be. We might do a sushi counter.”

Photos: Ritz Carlton Dove Mountain/Facebook

Sources: Huffington Post, The Guardian

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