|Cultural Cakes and Cuisine
Chinese foods served at weddings are chosen for their phonetic plays on words. For example, the Chinese word for apple is similar to the expression “go safely,” Fat choy sounds like the expression “be prosperous,” and Liem sun denotes the hope for many sons. This particular menu consists of apples, seaweed and lotus-seed tea.
In Italy, either a roasted baby pig (porchetta) or roasted baby lamb (bacchio), depending on region, may be served, accompanied by two pasta dishes and assorted fresh fruit. As a symbol of the essence of marriage, newlyweds hand out sugared almonds representing the bitter and the sweet in life.
A Jamaican wedding feast includes curried goat, meat patties, salted codfish cakes, red snapper in Caribbean creole sauce, and a salad of avocado and/or watercress. The traditional wedding cake is a dark fruitcake laced with rum. Slices of the cake are put into boxes and mailed to all friends and relatives who are unable to attend the wedding reception.
Korean weddings serve Kuk soo (noodles), which symbolize long life. To find out if someone is married, ask “Kuk soo mo-gus-soy-oh?” (“Have you eaten noodles yet?”)
In the Jewish tradition, a wedding meal is to be prepared Kosher style, which within the laws of the Torah, means no mixing of meat and dairy.
Bermudian traditions include the bride and groom walking under a moon gate after the ceremony for good luck, and the bride and groom have separate wedding cakes. The bride’s wedding cake is a tiered fruitcake covered with silver leaf and has a small cedar sapling on top that is replanted after the ceremony to symbolize the growth of the couple’s love. Gold leaf tops the groom’s cake and represents prosperity.
In Norway, Brudlaupskling, a wedding cake made of bread, dates back to the days when white flour was rare on Norwegian farms, and foods containing it were greatly admired. The bread is topped with a mixture of cheese, cream, and syrup, then folded over and cut into small squares.
Long ago in France, it was the custom for villagers to throw buns into a pile in preparation for the wedding feast. A clever baker decided to take some bun-like pastries stuffed with cream and fastened them as a pyramid, like the mound of buns, creating a tall cone of caramel-coated cream puffs called croque-en-bouche (“crisp in the mouth”). The cone may be topped with caged doves, which are released to symbolize the newlyweds’ departure from their families.
In medieval England, guests brought small cakes and piled them in the center of a table, challenging the bride and groom to kiss over them.
The groom’s cake is a European tradition that is regaining popularity. Traditionally, the groom’s cake is a dark, rich fruitcake, but is more modernly chocolate or spice. It is more creatively shaped than the typical tiered bride’s cake, often decorated to represent the groom’s favorite hobby, sport or fraternity affiliation. It may be served at the rehearsal dinner or at the reception after the wedding cake has officially been cut.
In the Ukraine, couples share korovai rather than a cake. Korovai is a sacred wedding bread decorated with symbolic motifs that represent eternity and the joining together of two families.