An article on “History of cakes” by Vaibhav Mishra

“Let’s have cake”

Though the history of cakes dates back to the Viking era, ancient Greeks and Egypts, however scholars have different opinions regarding it, and so letting them quarrel over its history, one must enjoy eating it. With no other exact substitute of the word ‘cake’ in any language, the word has made its home in vocabulary of any language. find its but the history of cakes in India goes back to 17th century when in the November of 1883, Mambally Bapu, a businessman, shipping milk, bread, tean and other essentials decided to set up a bakery in a coastal town of north Kerala, Thalasserry and named it Royal Biscuit Factory and made the first cake in India and produced more than 40 varities of biscuits, cakes, bread and rusks.

However, for the process of fermenting the dough he used local toddy untill the Britishers startes importing yeast in India. When a British officer named Mr. Brown came to his bakery to have a taste of his making on Dec. 20, 1984, he was so much elated by the delightful taste of cake that he certified it as the ‘one of the best cakes he had ever had’. The idlis rice cake (of Japan) can also be regarded as the loose examples of cake.

The relationship between cake and birthday goes back to the Roman times (though disputed) but the contemporary form of birthday cake occurred during the 17th century and so the tradition of birthday candles, some scholars,supported by folk stories believe that in Ancient Greece, people brought cakes adorned with lit candles to temple of Artemis, while some believes that the tradition of bday candles started Germany during 16th century.

The round shape of cake symbolises the cyclic nature of life, and reflects the affection one have for another as in older days and so now, due to its ingredients like nuts, dried fruits and others.
Same with the wedding cake, Romans and Greeks had their hand in mostly all aspects of human life. In ancient Rome, bread was broken over the bride’s head to bring good fortune to the couple. The modern wedding cake, originated at the wedding of Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany, in 1882.
But one must take the cake very lightly, other than used it as a weapon for food fight, it has its involvement in stirring a revolution, which is known to us as French Revolution.

‘Let them have cake.” replied the Queen Marie Antoinette, upon being alerted about the sufferings of people due to widespread shortage of food. (however, it can’t be ever proved whether she said it or not but it required a great importance.)

Along with a delightful taste cakes also have incredible power of, acc. To an old English superstition, putting a fruit cake under your pillow would make you dream about the person you will marry.
So have a cake.

 

[Featured Image(Photo Credit): A woman making oat cakes. Her two children watching by George Walker]

About Arghwan Rabbhi

Arghwan Rabbhi is a researcher and journalist.

View all posts by Arghwan Rabbhi →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.