Today, tornado boy and me had carrot cake!
Nothing spectacular, you would think, but for me, it was quite a big deal.
I’ll tell you why :
There simply wasn’t such a thing when I was little and although, all grown up now, I am normally eager to try new food, it took me 4 years of (interrupted) life in Australia to finally take the step and buy a piece for a degustation.
When I first arrived here and spotted those cute little carrots on a display shelf, I actually asked the chicks in the bakery if that “carrot cake” contains… well, uhm.. carrots? – They just looked at me blank. I didn’t buy any.
Short research today has shown me that in Europe, apart from Britain (where the Australian carrot cake would originate from) only the Swiss have been eating carrot cake for a long time in some cantons (but then they eat a lot of weird stuff, including dogs and cats in remote regions. Yes, they do.). Never ever seen it in any bakery in France, or heard about it when I lived there, although they really have a lot of recipes with mixes of savoury and sweet.
But while it is now also known, baked and sometimes sold in Germany, during my childhood it was so inconceivable that it even was the subject of one of the ‘little hare jokes’ we were telling at the time.
In these jokes, the little hare, who speaks in a mix of childlike expressions and – in some jokes – rude words, maybe a bit like LOLcats today, usually comes into some kind of a shop or meats a person of a particular profession or function. The jokes weren’t great in retrospective, but we liked them and they were simple to understand and remember.
The carrot cake joke goes like this :
Little hare comes to the bakery : “You haz carrot cake ?”
The baker : “No sorry, we don’t have carrot cake.”
Little hare comes back the next day, and asks again : “You haz carrot cake ?”
The baker says regrets again and says no.
On the third day, after the little hare has come in and asked, in vain, for carrot cake, the baker finally takes a heart and bakes a carrot cake.
The following day, when the little hare comes to the bakery and asks again : “You haz carrot cake ?”, the baker happily smiles and presents the little hare with the carrot cake:
“Yes I do ! Today we have carrot cake!”
Little hare only looks at it briefly and says : “Yuck. Trash that rubbish. Tastes like shit.”
Yeah.. .iz funny? Seems odd now. But it all came back to me today, while the piece of cake was waiting in the fridge. After dinner, I cut the piece in two (tornado obviously wanted the little carrot) and we tried it.
It was ok. I was prepared now that the carrot cake, more a short bread really, would not taste all that much of carrot. It had some nuts and some sort of ‘Allspice’, I liked that but I wasn’t too keen on the icing. Overall it tasted fine. Maybe more of an afternoon snack though, as it was a bit too filling after a meal. My boy gave the thumbs up too, but only had half of his piece, probably for that reason.
Tonight, I told my (travelling) husband all about it on the phone. He cackled when I told him about me asking in the bakery whether carrot cake contained carrots.
I suspect he only laughed about the joke to humour his odd foreign wife though.
– wiki on carrot cake
– a recipe