Wedding cakes were not always the beautifully created pastry that
we know and
love to eat today. Through the centuries our current custom has
evolved out of some truly strange traditions. Not only are we much
luckier than the wedding guests of yesteryear but we today’s
brides have it a whole lot easier!
The wedding cake dates all the way back to ancient times. The Romans
were the first to bake the pastries out of wheat. However, unfortunately
for Roman brides the cakes were not for their eating pleasure but
for breaking over
their heads! That’s right – the groom broke the cake
over the bride’s head and the guests gathered up all the
crumbs as tokens of good luck.
In the middle ages the size of the wedding cake symbolized the
bride’s popularity as the guests were supposed to bring
the different tiers of the cake. These were then piled one of
top of each other using apple sauce. In the middle ages the cake
were actually sticky buns that the guests brought and piled up.
The bride and groom were expected to kiss over the stack –
which often resulted in dirty, trampled and unappetizing buns
for the guests to eat afterwards. In the 1800’s fruit cakes
were used and this custom was brought to North America by the
Pilgrims. Fruit cakes remained in favor until recently. The custom
of cutting the cake originated in Greece where the couple cut
the cake to ensure a happy and fertile marriage.
No matter what other customs surrounded the wedding cake –
the world over it represented the same thing – the couple’s