As in many other countries around the world, in Italy the wedding cake has a very special meaning. It is probably the highlight of the event and it is always sliced by both the bride and the groom, symbolizing the start of a life together, as husband and wife. What makes the Italian cake so special is that the tradition is being kept alive for centuries and they taste absolutely delicious.
To be more specific, the cake tradition dates back to the Roman Empire. Then, the groom used to break the cake over the bride’s head. This symbolized the end of the bride’s virginal state and the groom’s dominance over her. This tradition is no longer practiced. Another belief in the roman culture was that if the guests and the groom threw pieces of cake in the bride, the couple would have had many children. Nowadays, the wedding cake in Italy is a multi-layered cake with two little figures on top representing the bride and the groom. They smile and look over with approval in the direction of the guests. On the other hand, in some areas of Italy the cake is not served. There are served, instead, sugar almond wrapped up in tulle bags or decorative boxes. This is a symbol of accepting the new life as a couple, with good and bad, a “union between bitter and sweet”.
Very special about Italian wedding cakes is their recipe. One of the traditional cakes is a white cake filled with coconut and topped with a thick cream cheese frosting. It is served at the wedding party but that doesn’t mean you can’t taste it with other occasions. Another Italian cake is “Torta mimosa alla Bavarese”. It is a sponge cake filled with Bavarian cream and vanilla. If you are more of a chocolate fan, then the Chantilly Cake would be a good choice. It is a sponge cake with Chantilly cream and chocolate shavings on top. What many people appreciate about Italian cakes is that they are made entirely from fresh ingredients with no artificial decoration. They are decorated with butter cream or rolled fondant and their beautiful design is highlighted by the handmade sugar flowers, fruits or even natural flowers. Besides the aspect of the cake, the size, color and shape of the cake also have an important role, as they make it more special and personal.
Apart from its main meaning, the Wedding Cake in Italy has also a different significance. It represents the Altar of the Nation or “Il Vittoriano”, a monument designed and built by Giuseppe Sacconi in honour of Vittorio Emanuele, the first king to rule over unified Italy. The construction took Sacconi 16 years, from 1895 till 1911. It was called “The wedding Cake” because of its white color that is very visible among the other buildings from its neighbourhood, which are brown.
So there you have it, the reason why in Italy the wedding cake has such a special meaning and why it is so popular, not only there but also around the world. And maybe you mouth is watering by now, then it’s about time for you to try one of the Italian cakes. You won’t be disappointed.
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