Taste in wed­ding cakes changes

South Waikato News - - NEWS - By JA­NINE SUNDBERG

The his­tory of the wed­ding cake goes back as far as the Ro­man Em­pire, but in those days it was a loaf of bar­ley bread baked es­pe­cially for the nup­tials rather than an elab­o­rately iced ex­trav­a­ganza we nor­mally see at wed­dings these days.

Back in the days of the Ro­man Em­pire the groom would eat part of the loaf of bar­ley bread and break the rest over his bride’s head, in­di­cat­ing the dom­i­nance of the groom over her.

In Me­dieval Eng­land there was also a cus­tom in­volv­ing the stack­ing of small sweet buns into a large pile in front of the newly-wed cou­ple. The cou­ple would at­tempt to kiss over the pile and their suc­cess in the process was an in­di­ca­tion that there would be many chil­dren in their fu­ture.

By the late 19th cen­tury, wed­ding cakes in the form of a sin­gle-tiered plum cake were very pop­u­lar. Sim’s Bak­ery in Ash­bur­ton usu­ally makes three or four wed­ding cakes per month.

Ac­cord­ing to Sim’s Bak­ery owner, Manny Sim, wed­ding cakes al­ways used to be fruit cakes, but choco­late mud­cakes are now also ex­tremely pop­u­lar.

‘‘We still ice the choco­late cake the same way, with royal ic­ing, and our cake dec­o­ra­tor, Kim Waghorn, at­tends to all the beau­ti­ful dec­o­rat­ing of the cake,’’ Mr Sim said.

Ac­cord­ing to Mr Sim, a three-tiered wed­ding cake can range from $250 to $400, with a two-tiered cake start­ing at about $200.

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