What is common in all our special occasions & festivals? Apart from the joy of the mind, it is of course cakes that unite all those glitzy affairs. The ancient form of cake is way different from what we eat today. It was more like a bread sweetened with honey to which nuts and dry fruits were added occasionally. Food historians say that the forerunner of modern cakes (the round cakes with icing) was first baked in Europe in the 17th Century. Of course, that was possible because of the availability of better technologies and utensils. Post-industrial revolution, the cake baking industry saw a paradigm shift. Imagine, without the industrial revolution, how gloomy our celebrations would have been?
As the history of cakes dates back to more than 4 centuries, there are many interesting trivia and fun facts to learn about cakes. Do you know that the word cake comes from the Old Norse term Kaka and the Latin word for cake is Placenta and has its connection with Plakos of Greek language meaning flat? In today’s blog, I will let you know about many such unknown facts about cakes.
What’s So Interesting & Fun To Know About Cakes?
- National Cake Day is on 26th November and is celebrated with fun in the USA.
- Do you know that the older the fruit cake is – the better it becomes? Fruit cakes were eaten by crusaders of Roman origin as that kept them full for a longer time. The Britishers then experimented with dried fruits that the Mediterranean supplied. The trick is to soak the dry fruits in brandy, rum, or whiskey and then wrap them in foil so that it ripens with time.
- All of us are familiar with blowing candles out of a birthday cake and making wishes- right? But do any of you know that the ancient people used to blow candles one at a time so that the smoke carries their prayers to heaven? The cakes were also offered to the Moon (treated as Goddess) and the candles were symbolic of the moonlight.
- German Chocolate Cake is a famous one in the world of desserts but there is no Germany connection at all. Samuel German – an American created a type of dark baking chocolate for the Baker’s Chocolate Company in 1852. Interestingly, that person never made that cake. It was 105 years later, on 3rd June 1957 that a recipe “German’s Chocolate Cake” was published in The Dallas Morning News. The recipe was invented by Mrs. George Clay, a homemaker who used that dark baking chocolate to prepare this heavenly cake. Now, 11th June is celebrated as National German’s Chocolate Cake Day in the USA.
- It is fascinating to learn that it was Queen Victoria who was the first one to have pure white icing on her wedding cake. And that’s how the term “Royal Icing” came into usage.
- There is truly a difference between a cake and a pie but do you know that a Boston Cream Pie is a cake? In those old days (1800 A.D.) in America, only pie tins were common and that’s why it was prepared in a pie tin. Thus, you get such a confusing name.
- Are you are familiar with the phrase: “you can’t have your cake and eat it”? Then, you must know that it first appeared in the early 16th Century.
- Whoa!! The British cake market is worth more than £1.2 billion a year.
- If people have money, they can go to any extent. Why? Because the world’s costliest cake contains 10 sapphires along with necklaces, rings, and bracelets. Do you want to know the cost? The name of this cake is “Pirates Fantasy” and the price is a whopping $35million.
- Isn’t that sweet to know that India makes a sale of 9.1 million cakes every year?
- In ancient times, there was a Cake Stacking custom. Each guest brought a layer of cake and all those layers were stacked with apple butter. Now, the higher the cake was the more popular the couple was believed to be.
- Having a cake during Christmas is a tradition that the whole world follows. But in the medieval era, parties were held to bring closure to Christmas celebration where live birds and frogs used to burst out a giant cake.
- In India, the oldest and still the most appreciated bakeries are – Yazdani Bakery – Mumbai, Albert Bakery – Bengaluru, Nahoum & Sons – Kolkata, and Wenger’s – Delhi.
- The Victoria in Victoria Sponge is after Queen Victoria because she enjoyed the simple cake with her afternoon tea.
- Last but not least, do you know that cakes symbolise cyclical nature of life?
All these interesting facts about cakes would surely prepare you for a cake quiz (if there are any). But surely, now when you eat, bake, or order a cake – you will relish it more because it has a history in its layers.