Historic Fort Harrison's Holiday Gingerbread House Could Be Largest in the County

Following a tradition spanning more than 200 years, Fort Harrison chefs create ginormous gingerbread house.

Clearwater, FL (I-Newswire) December 13, 2013 - Weighing in at nearly 600 pounds, the annual Fort Harrison gingerbread house was completed this week by the Chefs at one of downtown Clearwater's most historic properties. The gingerbread house is a replica of the Fort Harrison, down to the round window on the 4th floor and the portico over the back entrance.

Owned by the Church of Scientology, Flag Service Organization, Zoltan Vajna, the Executive Chef of the Fort Harrison, has been creating a replica of the building in gingerbread for the past 5 years. Two years ago, a gingerbread fireplace was also added, including a fire, via a flat screen TV.

"I started working on the house in October," said Chef Zoltan. "For both the 'house' and the fireplace, it took nearly 100 hours of work, 358 pounds of gingerbread and 223 pounds of frosting. It is a big challenge every year to come up with something better than the last."

Brought back to the Europe by Crusaders in the 11th century, gingerbread itself has been baked and decorated since the 13th century. In that era, monks in Germany became renowned for their skills in the area. This knowledge spread to bakers throughout Europe. Bakers who specialized in gingerbread held annual competitions for their edible masterpieces. Queen Elizabeth I of England was known to surprise her distinguished guests with gingerbread replicas of themselves.

The idea of creating houses out of the stuff became popular in the early 1800's, when the Brothers Grimm published "Hansel and Gretel." In the story, children, abandoned in the woods by their parents, are lured to the gingerbread house of an evil witch.

But the Fort Harrison gingerbread house is in a category of its own.

"This is one of the elements that signals the beginning of the holiday season," said Church spokesperson Pat Harney. "We don't usually have snow or cold weather here," she joked. "But we do have the annual Winter Wonderland and the downtown Clearwater Holiday light up, and of course, our gingerbread Fort Harrison."

Harney also cited how Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard used to donate a 60-foot Christmas tree every year to the children of Hollywood, a tradition that has continued since his passing in 1986.

"The spirit of the holiday season, the sense of hope, kindness and care for one's fellow man is something that most people try to keep with them all year," concluded Harney, "and the best way to start, is with a good dose of Christmas."

About Church of Scientology, Flag Service Organization

The Church of Scientology, Flag Service Organization is the international religious headquarters for   More.. Scientology.

Developed by L. Ron Hubbard, Scientology is a religion that offers a precise path leading to a complete and certain understanding of one's true spiritual nature and one's relationship to self, family, groups, Mankind, all life forms, the material universe, the spiritual universe and the Supreme Being.

Scientology addresses the spirit—not the body or mind—and believes that Man is far more than a product of his environment, or his genes.

Scientology comprises a body of knowledge which extends from certain fundamental truths. Prime among these are:

Man is an immortal spiritual being.

His experience extends well beyond a single lifetime.

His capabilities are unlimited, even if not presently realized.

Scientology further holds Man to be basically good, and that his spiritual salvation depends upon himself, his fellows and his attainment of brotherhood with the universe.Less..

Contact Information

Church of Scientology, Flag Service Organization
Lisa Mansell
503 Cleveland Street
Clearwater, FL
Phone : 727-467-6860

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December 13, 2013

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