Have you ever wondered who invented the delicious & fluffy cakes and how? I have! And as one of my homeschooling assignments, I did an online research of where and how cakes came about. Hence, I just thought that it’d be cool to share it with you. So, here it goes...
We live in a world where cakes are known as soft round shaped sweet treats, with a dozen different types to choose from. With the technology we have today, we are able to make a huge range of cakes and sweets by using different ingredients, methods and processes to create the cake we want.
From Ancient Egypt to Chinese Civilization
Cakes have been present throughout the history of mankind. The first recorded cake is traced back to the 13th century made by the ancient Egyptians and since then, the growth of cakes have been outstanding.
It turns out that cakes were especially made for occasional events ever since the ancient times. They were made in conjunction with the seasonal events throughout the year. Cake holds a special place in human civilization and often symbolizes offerings and gratitude. People used cakes as offerings to the gods and spirits who performed their wonders at certain times of the year.
For instance, the Chinese culture bake moon shaped cakes during their harvest season to honor their moon Goddess. The Russian culture bake sun shaped cakes during Spring to honor a deity named Maslenitsa. Interestingly, even though the Celts in Ireland and the Slavs in Russia are quite distant apart geographically, they both practiced a similar tradition in baking round cakes to celebrate the spring sun.
How cakes are generally made today
As I learned more about baking, the methods of baking we practised today is different than how it was in the past. A long time ago, bread was simply made from wheat flour, salt and water - it took 3 - 5 days for the dough to ferment and rise. Each village grew their own wheat, and of course, back then the ingredients were all entirely, completely and totally organic. That means no pesticides or chemicals were used.
However, as time goes by, and the world gets more dense with people, the need to produce food faster and in larger amount rises significantly. We see a ton of different boxed cake mixes which contain refined sugar, refined wheat flour, artificial flavourings and many other ‘fake’ ingredients. These mixes are being made in mass quantities in factories. This was never the case before as the largest producer would be a local artisan cake shop selling only to one village.
These chemicals taste and feel like the real thing, just like the Vanilla essence you mostly find in the supermarket where it suppose to be made from real vanilla beans. Consuming these artificial products may to some extent harms one's bodies and lead to unwanted diseases over the course of around 10 years.
Today, the immediate demand for food can be easily produced and obtained in supermarkets, but as a consequence, the connection between us and the food we eat has weakened, and to this extent, the connection to our own histories has weakened as well. This happens as technology enables us to synthesize chemicals for art and other stuff in the world, including a cake or food in general.
It is important for us to be more mindful while using technology in the modern world, to ensure that it promotes sustainability. Although there are differences between cakes in antiquity and modern cakes today, cakes are constantly being developed to cater one's perfect needs and bring joy to our homes.