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The Brief History of Cake


By Robert Lobitz

Every Culture has Cakes
One of the most delicious and amazing things that you can ever eat is a good cake. When these fantastic dishes are prepared right they can seem like they are from heaven, and whether you are getting a single piece from some restaurant delivery service or you are using a recipe that was handed down through your family for years, it can certainly be a wonderful treat. Did you know that these remarkable creations are some of the oldest dishes you can find and are in many regards cross cultural?

What are Cakes Made of ?

Cakes in general are typically made from a combination of various refined flours. There are harder wheats and softer wheats. Softer wheats make the cake tender and the harder wheats give the cake structure. They also use some variation of shortening, eggs, a dairy substance, an agent for leavening, flavoring, and a sweetener. Although it was in some cultures a specialty to make a cake, it has now become something that is no longer a very complicated procedure to produce.

When Did People Start Making Cakes ?

Cake for the most part found its beginnings by primitive people once they found they could create flour. In medieval times the cakes that have been described in the surviving records indicate that they were very much different than what we might think of today. They were still sweets based on flour centered creations, different from bread in only that it did not include the sweetening.

Where is the Line Drawn Between a Cake and a Bread?

The words bread and cake have been somewhat interchangeable as the years passed on and the term cake was often just used as a way to describe a smaller bread. The very earliest examples of cakes were found in Neolithic villages. Experts and archaeologists have discovered that simple cakes were made by these people through the use of crushed grains that were moistened, and after they were compacted they were cooked on a stone that was heated with fire.

The Greeks would refer to cakes as plakous, which essentially means flat and these would be made from nuts and honey in some kind of combination. Romans would call cakes placenta or libum, and were more times than not used as offerings to give to their gods. It wasn't until the 18 th century that yeast was no longer used as a raising agent and instead the beaten egg helped to give it the more familiar shape and form.

The newest trend is that the food you want delivered and you can have it brought to your door, which is a far stretch from where things have been for so many years. More and more restaurants deliver cakes and it is a wonderful privilege of fine dining that would have been impossible just a few generations ago. These amazing delights have certainly come a long way.Now when your mouth waters for a cake it is just a call away and can be delivered to your door.



Robert Lobitz is free lance writer and developing the art of food home delivery with his business he represents "The Bite Squad".




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Last updated October 11, 2012