Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Your wedding just wouldn't be complete without fertility symbols, like the wedding cake.
Ancient Romans would bake a cake made of wheat or barley and break it over the bride's head as a symbol of her fertility. It became tradition to pile up several small cakes, one on top of the other, as high as they could, and the bride and groom would kiss over the tower and try not to knock it down. If they were successful, it meant a lifetime of prosperity.
In the 1660s, during the reign of King Charles II, a French chef was visiting London and observed the cake piling ceremony. Appalled at the haphazard manner in which the British stacked baked goods, often to have them tumble, he conceived the idea of transforming the mountain of bland biscuits into an iced, multi-tiered cake sensation.
British papers of the day are supposed to have deplored the French excess, but before the close of the century, British bakers were offering the very same magnificent creations.