There is a much-disputed legend that stack cakes were invented as wedding cakes for young mountain couples, with their poor kinfolks each bringing the single layer they could afford to make to the celebration and stacking them together to make a big cake for the party. But anyone who's made stack cakes knows full well that (1) the cakes and apples both need to be warm when they are assembled for the marrying of flavors to take place, and (2) that marriage (of flavors) takes at least two days to consummate. Anyone who tried to eat a stack cake on the day it was made would surely wonder what all the shouting was about.
"Gumbo born and gumbo bred
Tabasco follies fuzz my head.
South is my blood and south my bone
So haply formed on pork and pone.
Incan, African move in me.
You say 'South? Where can it be?'
Chewing my sugar cane, I repeat:
'Why, in all we like to cook and eat.'"
Butter Beans to Blackberries
Recipes from the Southern Garden
By Ronni Lundy
North Point Press
A division of Farrar, Straus & Giroux, Inc.
Hardback, $27.50, May 1999
Reprinted with permission.
This page created July 1999
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