Monday, January 26, 2009
Let them eat cake! And babies....?!
This first image a comes from Diana Maya's blog Fiestas de Mexico. Recently Mexicans celebrated the feast of the Epiphany, what is commonly known as "El Dia de Reyes", or King's day on January 6th. During this holiday a traditional ring cake (loosely resembling the shape of a crown) is eaten among family and friends. A little porcelain doll, nowadays plastic, is baked inside. Explanations for this tradition vary, but most explain it has to do with the birth of Christ. Whoever gets the little doll becomes his "godfather" and has to throw a party during the feast of Candlemass on February 2nd. This holiday tradition got me thinking about the associations of cakes and babies...
In Mexico we also have a cake known as niño envuelto. Take a look at the image above, on the left. It comes from Mexico Cooks. The name of this cake literally means "Child wrap" or wrapped child. Of course, there are no children wrapped inside. It looks just like an ordinary jelly roll. There are other traditions about baking things inside cakes (eggs, rings, charms, etc). I hope to post more on the subject. For the most part, those traditions have roots in rituals related to fertility. But back to dolls and babies...Here's another image of a doll baked inside a cake. This one comes from Cake Wrecks, via Penn Appetit. Hmmm. Interesting. Maybe it was created for a baby shower?
Finally another image. This one comes from Michelle's sugar art. This one is from a cake that is actually shaped like a baby! It reminds me of the movie "The wicker man" (the original one, not the recent Nicholas Cage re-make). In the movie, didn't the town's people ritually created candy shaped like babies? Interesting, yet a bit creepy. Does anyone know of any symbolism or other traditions of making food shaped like babies? On the mean time, enjoy a video of this cake being made here.