Stargazy Pie, an English pastry dish with fish heads sticking out of it

When it comes to unusual and unappetizing-looking holiday dishes, there are few treats out there that can compete with the Stargazy Pie, a pie with fish heads protruding through its crust appearing to be gazing skyward. England is home to a variety of pies, from classics like apple pie and pork pie, to less known treats like steak and ale pie, or pot pie. But none of these pastry treats can compete with the popular Stargazy Pie, when it comes to wow factor. No matter how elaborate your pie design…

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Greece’s New Year tradition: Vasilopita and the Golden Coin

We are in Greece where, on New Year’s Day, a centuries-old tradition is observed in almost every household, that of Vasilopita (meaning St. Basil’s Cake), a sweet-tasting lucky treat. Across the country, recipes are quite a few, but they all have one basic ingredient: the much sought-after flouri, or lucky coin. Its story began in the Greek antiquity period, when ancient Greeks would offer bread and honey-kneaded sweets to honour the gods during the major harvest festivals. Today the New Year’s Day Cake custom is kept everywhere in Greece, and…

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Marlborough pie: a luxurious 19th-Century Thanksgiving Pie

Apparently, four kinds of pie were traditional for Thanksgiving: mince, cranberry, pumpkin, and a kind called Marlborough, a glorification of everyday apple, is said. The single-crust pie of stewed apples in a custard fragrant with nutmeg, citrus, and sherry originated in England as a custard pudding and crossed the Atlantic with early English settlers. The practice of putting apples in a custard and baking in a pastry base is at least as old as 1660. The first iteration of Marlborough pudding published that year called for a whopping 24 egg…

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Russian Napoleon Cake, the traditional dessert that commemorates the country’s sweet taste of victory over the French emperor in 1812.

In Russia, where Christmas was banned in 1928 during Bolshevik rule and not reinstated until 1991, New Year’s Eve has long been the biggest celebration of the year, with decorative trees and opulent feasts. But also a towering Napoleon cake, often home-baked. The so called Napoleon cake may be similar to the French emperor in fame, but certainly not in stature… Standing tall with at least eight tiers (and sometimes more than 20) of alternating layers of delicious pastry and custard, it has become a national Russian dish, inspired by…

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Election Cake: an American almost forgotten tradition

In the first known cookbook written in the United States, Amelia Simmons’s 1796 American Cookery, you’ll find some recipes that seem familiar like the pumpkin pie or the roast turkey, but also the so-called Election Cake. American Cookery’s recipe speak about “thirty quarts of flour, 10 pound butter, 14 pound sugar, 12 pound raisins, 3 doz eggs, one pint wine, one quart brandy, 4 ounces cinnamon, 4 ounces fine colander seed, 3 ounces ground allspice; wet flour with milk to the consistence of bread over night, adding one quart yeast;…

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Smearcase: a cheesecake named after 19th-century cottage cheese still served in a few Baltimore bakeries.

A dairy wagon in Virginia City, Nevada, made the news when it tipped over in 1878. The Territorial Enterprise published an article called “Whey Goin?” in which a pun-crazed reporter described in this way the scene: “The air was filled with milk and the wagon was left a complete wreck. It was a regular smear-case. From the length of time he has been in the milk business Pedroli’s horse ought to know butter than to act in such a whey— ’tain’t the cheese.” Interestingly, all of the dairy products listed…

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Kek Lapis Sarawak: the Malaysia’s most complex dessert

Kek Lapis Sarawak is a traditional Malaysian cake famous both for its intricate kaleidoscopic appearance and the grueling process required to make it. Kek translates as “cake” and Lapis means “layers” in Bahasa Malaysia, Malaysia’s national language. Inspired by the spit cakes that Dutch colonists used to enjoy, it was born in Malaysia’s Sarawak state, located on the northwestern coast of Borneo, sometime in the 1970’s. It’s basically a much more complex version of kek lapis Betawi, or lapis legit, that incorporates spices such as cinnamon, cardamom, clove, and star…

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30 fabulous cakes that look like paradise islands

If Covid-19 pandemic has made vacationing in a tropical island paradise a lot harder this year, you can satisfy your craving for tropical destinations (as well as your sweet tooth) with some ultra-realistic cakes! Incredible but true, some cake masters are so skilled that they can recreate a tropical island setting using regular baking ingredients, food coloring and jelly. Looking at some of these elaborate cakes, it’s hard to believe that they are 100% percent edible, including foamy waves, marine wildlife and even the sand! “When baking this cake, the…

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Kransekake: the queen of cakes!

Around the world, holidays are an excuse for ambitious baking projects and, above all, for eat! But few delicacy are as architecturally impressive as the almond-based cake Kransekake, a Norwegian (and Danish) speciality. Its origin can be traced to the 18th century, where it was first created by a baker in Copenhagen. The Kransekake (or Kransekage in Danish), literally translated as “wreath cake”, is a type of tower cake. It’s more like a cookie than a cake, bakers make its rings from almond flour, egg whites, and sugar, and arrange…

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4# Christmas Cake and Cheese: a big deal in Yorkshire – England!

Yorkshire, a historic county of Northern England and the largest in the United Kingdom, has its a curious variety of weird and wonderful traditions often unknown on the rest of the world. There is also one festive custom which probably is set to take dinner tables by storm, in future. The poor fruitcake has gotten a bad rap over the past few decades, and it is not just a cellophane package. Probably people misunderstand its booze-infused density and fruitiness, chalking up the decision to give such a gift as nothing…

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Driving a motorized muffin is possible….

Here we are: Exist parades and events that are an incredible show sight, where giant muffins and cupcakes roll along the streets, drived by drivers whose heads poke out of the tops. This electric, eclectic vehicles have been rolling since 2004 and were built by a loose group of makers under the banner of Acme Muffineering. Motorized muffins and cupcake cars have been popping up at events such as parades and Maker Faires since their debut at Burning Man in 2004. The original “muffineers” are Lisa Pongrace and Greg Solberg…

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