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Historic Secret Grasmere Gingerbread Recipe Secured In New Bank Vault

The original secret recipe for Grasmere Gingerbread has a new home for the first time since the 1960s.

Within the last few days, Sarah Nelson’s hand-written formula for her world-famous 1854 culinary invention has moved from its traditional Ambleside bank vault to a new one at NatWest in Windermere.

Joanne Hunter - co-owner of Grasmere Gingerbread said the bank’s decision to close its Ambleside branch - prompted by the public’s increasing use of mobile and online banking - forced the relocation.

Joanne said: “It was taken to Windermere a few days ago and I did toy with the idea of having a look at it. But in the end I decided against it.

"Whilst I’m naturally curious part of me likes not knowing, that I can still appreciate the air of mystery that surrounds it.”

Only husband Andrew, co-owner and head baker at the 163-year-old business, knows the recipe.

“When we took over the business in 2000 Andrew broke a wax seal to read Sarah Nelson’s handwritten recipe and method,” she revealed.

“He memorised it and then resealed the parchment with a new wax stamp. This is one secret I am quite happy for him to keep!”

The original recipe has been stored in Ambleside since the 1960s. Before then, it was kept in a secret location in the area.

Grasmere Gingerbread is protected from poorer quality imitations by a modern trademark but Sarah Nelson’s 1854 logo is still used on all packaging.

Sue Hart, Branch Manager at NatWest Windermere, celebrated the bank’s “long relationship” with Grasmere Gingerbread “built on trust and good customer service.”

“The recipe has a safe and secure new home at our branch in Windermere, and we look forward to continuing to build on our relationship with Grasmere Gingerbread now and into the future”, she said.

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