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Cake! A Europeana Food and Drink exhibition

Name an occasion and somewhere in Europe there is a special cake to go with it, and often it’s even not just a cake, but a whole series of traditions, from baking it to eating it.

Cake is all about immaterial cultural heritage and our Europeana Food and Drink exhibitions explore the very concept of cake and the rich recipe of meaning and traditions that imbibe it.

Cake can be the perfect food for celebrating, whether it be a birth, a birthday, a wedding, harvest, or holidays like Easter or Christmas, but it is not only celebration food; throwing cake can be a way of making a (political) statement, or a source of humor, such as slapstick comedy movies scenes or clowns throwing cakes on unsuspecting faces.

Our exhibitions explore the some general themes of cake, including how to define ‘cake’, as well as its social history and evolution. Consider that in the middle of the 19th century cake was a luxurious dessert – because of very expensive ingredients such as sugar – it wasn’t until the middle of the 20th century that cake became a dessert for everyone.

We will focus on some more particular cakes, such as the Belgian Epiphany cake, birth cakes, birthday cakes, wedding cakes, fruit cakes and pies. Finally, we will discover how different cultures understand cake and what foods they use in their celebrations, if not cake, then always with something sweet!

Join us as we explore the traditions of cake in our virtual and touring Cake exhibitions …

The exhibitions have been created as part of the Europeana Food and Drink project funded by the European Union. The exhibitions were developed by project partners Centre for Agrarian History and Royal Museums of Art and History.