Heavy cake to top the bill at culinary show

| 13/12/2010

(CNS): The planners of the 23rd Annual Taste of Cayman Food & Wine Festival at Camana Bay are looking for Cayman’s best bakers to put on their aprons, grab their wooden spoons and whip up some heavy cake, as the local treat takes centre stage in the 2011 local culinary event. All entries will be judged by an independent panel on Saturday, 29 January where guests will be able to sample the cake and learn more about the tradition. The cultural cuisine sometimes called ‘Old Man on a Plate’, is a dense, often intensely sweet cake which requires great patience and hands on attention by the baker.

Heavy cake has been a truly unique Caymanian creation for the last 200 years or so. This dessert’s beginnings resulted from Caymanian cooks’ resourcefulness and creativity in using ingredients that were available on their tiny islands. Many items we associate with cake today (flour, sugar, eggs and the like) were expensive luxuries well into the 20th century, and thus unavailable to these early bakers. Instead, they transformed readily available—cassava, coconut milk, spices and cornstarch into a traditional treat that is still revered today.

Although traditionally made with grated cassava it can be made with another starchsuch as yams or sweet potatoes. Since there is more to making a heavy cake than simply following a recipe, this truly is an art form that is practiced in kitchens across the Cayman Islands. Taste of Cayman hopes to provide the anticipated 4000 festival goers with a small taste of Cayman’s traditional dessert.

In addition to bragging rights the lucky first prize winner of the competition will receive CI$300, second prize CI$150 and third place CI$50. So heavy cake bakers, get practicing that treasured recipe from Granny and register by calling the Cayman Islands Tourism Association (CITA) office at 345-949-8522 or register at our Taste of Cayman booth at the Parade of Lights on Saturday, 11 December 2010, at Camana Bay.

Tickets for the festival will also be available for purchase online www.tasteofcayman.org for more details and enter the discount code: cassava to save $5.00 off the published ticket price (discount valid until December 17th!).

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