August 23 – National Spongecake Day
National Spongecake Day
Five Food Finds about Spongecake
- During the renaissance, Italian cooks became famous for their baking skills and were hired by households in both England and France.
- The new items that they introduced were called “biscuits,” though they were the forerunner of what we now consider to be sponge cake.
- Gervase Markham (1568-1637), English poet and author, recorded the earliest sponge cake recipe in English in 1615.
- These sponge cakes were most likely thin, crisp cakes (more like modern cookies).
- By the middle of the 18th century, yeast had fallen into disuse as a raising agent for cakes in favor of beaten eggs.
Today’s Food History
on this day in…
1617 The first one way streets were established in London. Seventeen one way streets were created to regulate “disorder and rude behaviour of Carmen, Draymen, and others using Cartes.”
1813 Alexander Wilson died. Scottish naturalist, ornithologist and poet. Founder of American ornithology
1858 ‘Ten Nights in a Barroom,’ a melodrama about the evils of drink, opened at the National Theater in New York City.
1859 At the Fifth Avenue Hotel in New York City, the first elevator in an American hotel began operation.
1902 Fannie Merrit Farmer opened Miss Farmer’s School of Cookery in Boston, Massachusetts.
1955 Hail falls to a depth of 1 foot in Rushmore, Minnesota.
2004 The French Parliament passed a bill to combat obesity among French youth. The bill bans junk food and soft drink vending machines in French schools, and requires health warnings or an alternate tax on snack food and soft drink commercials. The provisions become effective in September, 2005.