Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Reliving Tradition in Every Smith Island Cake

Smith Island is a small fishing village and is the only habited island in the Chesapeake Bay, an estuary surrounded by the states of Maryland and Virginia. Though the village has been around for 400 years, it has a current population of only 250. Perhaps the reason the village is so scarcely populated is that it is only accessible by ferry.

With such a small population, it’s safe to assume that not a lot of people would have known about the existence of Smith Island had it not been for the growing popularity of Smith Island cakes. Today, many cake and dessert lovers all over the country count Smith Island cake as one of the richest and most delicious desserts there are. After all, 12 layers of thin cakes filled and topped with delectable icing is simply hard to resist. 
TraditionalSmith Island cakes are yellow with chocolate fudge icing, but the more modern ones come in a variety of flavors such as coconut, pumpkin, and red velvet. When one receives a Smith Island cake, they get not just a filling, hearty dessert, but centuries of history and tradition as well—the first Smith Island cakes were made by fishing wives as they send their husbands off to their annual autumn oyster harvest. Tasting a Smith Island cake offers a glimpse of what life was like in those early times.

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