Of food and religious symbolisms

If there is one thing that everyone in the world needs to survive, it is food. Irrespective of what kind, nourishment is needed to survive. But there are those who derive joys out of food rather than just existence and are in constant search for new cuisines or reasons to relish every morsel that they have. Cakes can be humble or grand; you take your pick of how you want them to be and what ingredients you’d like in them. Online cake ordering in UK is not just a fad; it is a convenient gifting option that is here to stay as long as we are connected by internet. If you are looking to do so or pick one up from your local baker, here are some fun cakes that you may want to know about and try at the right times:

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  • Michaelmas cakes –In order to felicitate the fiercest of the archangels, Michael, every year on the 29th of September, there is a small feast that takes place. One of the specialities of this day is the Michaelmas cake, which is prepared in the shape of a butterfly. It is special because the wings here symbolize archangels rather than the simple wings of butterflies.
  • St. George Cake – On the 23rd of April of each year, St. George’s day is observed. This is the day a brave Christian martyr is honoured for his courageous deeds, notably the slaying of a dragon. To make this serious observation a little more festive, pretty fairy cakes are baked but with a small difference – they each have icing in the shape of a cross and red in colour – a symbol associated with St. George.

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  • Simnel cake – Interestingly, there is a day called Mothering Sunday, which is the fourth Sunday during the Lent period. It is believed that people honoured and expressed their love for their mothers on this day while also paying a visit to their “mother church”; hence the name. This particular cake is fruity and has a double coating of marzipan or almond paste in the middle and on top. 12 marzipan balls placed on top represent the apostles minus Judas, and thus, is created a delicious treat with a religious background!
  • Cheesecake –This humble culinary delight that has a crunchy base consisting of crushed cookies or digestive biscuits with sinfully delicious 7 layers of soft, warm cheese on top is a particular delight in Judaism. They associate this cake with the day the received their holy teachings, known as Torai, on Mount Sinai. So the next time you sink your teeth into one such cheesecake with cream and fresh fruits used as their toppings, do remember to learn a few such good rules too!

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  • Rice cakes – Something we can take away from our Japanese friends! Rice cakes, known as mochi in their language, have been popular for New Year celebrations. In fact, even royalty had to include rice cultivation as a part of their religious Shinto duties, and hence, rice cakes were considered important since then. These cakes consist of rice flour being moulded into any shape, usually a ball or a brick, and are sweet to taste.

Now that you know that even cakes have a lot of hidden symbols, have fun trying out many such cakes the next time you celebrate any special occasion!

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