Latin American cuisine
Latin American cuisine is the typical foods and cooking styles common to many of the countries and cultures in Latin America. Latin America is a diverse area of land that holds various cuisines that vary from nation to nation; some items typical of Latin American cuisine include maize-based dishes arepas, tacos, tamales and various salsas and other condiments. These spices are what give the Latin American cuisines a distinct flavor. Thus, this leads for a variety across the land. Sofrito, a culinary term that referred to a specific combination of sautéed or braised aromatics, exists in Latin American cuisine, it refers to a sauce of tomatoes, roasted bell peppers, garlic and herbs. Latin American beverages are just as distinct as their foods; some of the beverages can date back to the times of the Native Americans. Some popular beverages include coffee, hibiscus tea, chicha, atole and aguas frescas. Desserts in Latin America are very sweet in taste, they include dulce de leche, rice pudding, tres leches cake and flan.
Information about Native American cuisine comes from a great variety of sources. Modern-day Native peoples retain a rich body of traditional foods, some of which have become iconic of present-day Native American social gatherings. Foods like cornbread are known to have been adopted into the cuisine of the United States from Native American groups. In other cases, documents from the early periods of contact with European and Asian peoples allow the recovery of food practices which passed out of popularity in the historic period. Archaeological techniques in the subdisciplines of zooarchaeology and paleoethnobotany, have allowed for the understanding of other culinary practices or preferred foods which did not survive into the written historic record; the main crops Native Americans used in Mexico and Central America were corn and beans, which are used in contemporary dishes such as pupusas, pozole and corn tortillas. The main Native American crops used by Native Americans in South America were potatoes and chuño, used in modern-day Colombian, Peruvian and Paraguayan dishes such as arepas, papa a la huancaína, chipa guasu and many more.
Africans preserved many of their traditions and cooking techniques. They were given less desired cuts of meat, including shoulder and intestines. Menudo, for example, was derived from the habit of the Spaniards of giving the slaves cow's intestines. Slaves developed a way to clean the season it to taste. Slaves in the southern United States did the same thing to the pig's intestines given to them. In South America, the scraps of food the landlords did not eat, by mixing what they got they ended coming up with new plates that nowadays have been adopted into the cuisine of their respective nation. Europeans brought their culinary traditions, but adapted several of the fruits and vegetables native to the Americas into their own cuisines. Europe itself has been influenced by other cultures, such as with the Moors in Spain, thus their food was a mix of their world; the European influence for many Latin American cuisine comes from Spain. Spain, Italy, to a lesser extent France, although some influences from cuisines as diverse as British and Eastern European are evident in some countries' cuisines such as Argentina and Uruguay which have Italian cuisine as a main influence, with great Spanish, German, Russian and Eastern European influence as well.
A wave of immigrants from Asia, such as China and Japan influenced the cuisine of Latin America. The Chinese brought with them their own spices and food-styles, something that the people of Latin America accepted into their tables. Not only that, but several Asian restaurants adapted a whole lot of Latin American food-styles into their own; this case can be seen in the Peruvian chifa. Other countries in Latin America such as Uruguay and Argentina have adapted Armenian and Israeli cuisine due to mass immigration from those countries to Argentina and Uruguay. Caribbean cuisine is a fusion of African and Amerindian cuisine; these traditions were brought from the many homelands of this region's population. In addition, the population has created from this vast wealth of tradition many styles that are unique to the region. Seafood is one of the most common cuisine types in the islands, though this is due in part to their location; each island will have its own specialty. Some prepare lobster. For example, the island of Barbados is known for its "flying fish."
Another Caribbean mainstay is rice. Some add peas and other ingredients such as coconut. Sometimes the yellow rice is served as a side. Though it comes in many forms, it is a common side dish throughout the region. Cuban cuisine is a distinctive fusion of Spanish and Caribbean cuisines. Cuban recipes share their basic spice palette and preparation techniques with Spanish and African cooking.the black Caribbean rice influence is in the use of local foods such as tropical fruits, root vegetables, etc. A small but noteworthy Chinese influence is the daily use of steamed white rice as th
Milk is a nutrient-rich, white liquid food produced by the mammary glands of mammals. It is the primary source of nutrition for infant mammals before they are able to digest other types of food. Early-lactation milk contains colostrum, which carries the mother's antibodies to its young and can reduce the risk of many diseases, it contains many other nutrients including lactose. Interspecies consumption of milk is not uncommon among humans, many of whom consume the milk of other mammals; as an agricultural product, milk called dairy milk, is extracted from farm animals during or soon after pregnancy. Dairy farms produced about 730 million tonnes of milk from 260 million dairy cows. India is the world's largest producer of milk, is the leading exporter of skimmed milk powder, yet it exports few other milk products; the increasing rise in domestic demand for dairy products and a large demand-supply gap could lead to India being a net importer of dairy products in the future. The United States, India and Brazil are the world's largest exporters of milk and milk products.
China and Russia were the world's largest importers of milk and milk products until 2016 when both countries became self-sufficient, contributing to a worldwide glut of milk. Throughout the world, more than six billion people consume milk products. Over 750 million people live in dairy farming households; the term "milk" comes from "Old English meoluc, from Proto-Germanic *meluks "milk"". Milk consumption occurs in two distinct overall types: a natural source of nutrition for all infant mammals and a food product obtained from other mammals for consumption by humans of all ages. In all mammals, milk is fed to infants through breastfeeding, either directly or by expressing the milk to be stored and consumed later; the early milk from mammals is called colostrum. Colostrum contains antibodies that provide protection to the newborn baby as well as nutrients and growth factors; the makeup of the colostrum and the period of secretion varies from species to species. For humans, the World Health Organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding for six months and breastfeeding in addition to other food for up to two years of age or more.
In some cultures it is common to breastfeed children for three to five years, the period may be longer. Fresh goats' milk is sometimes substituted for breast milk, which introduces the risk of the child developing electrolyte imbalances, metabolic acidosis, megaloblastic anemia, a host of allergic reactions. In many cultures in the West, humans continue to consume milk beyond infancy, using the milk of other mammals as a food product; the ability to digest milk was limited to children as adults did not produce lactase, an enzyme necessary for digesting the lactose in milk. People therefore converted milk to curd and other products to reduce the levels of lactose. Thousands of years ago, a chance mutation spread in human populations in Europe that enabled the production of lactase in adulthood; this mutation allowed milk to be used as a new source of nutrition which could sustain populations when other food sources failed. Milk is processed into a variety of products such as cream, yogurt, ice cream, cheese.
Modern industrial processes use milk to produce casein, whey protein, condensed milk, powdered milk, many other food-additives and industrial products. Whole milk and cream have high levels of saturated fat; the sugar lactose is found only in milk, forsythia flowers, a few tropical shrubs. The enzyme needed to digest lactose, reaches its highest levels in the human small intestine after birth and begins a slow decline unless milk is consumed regularly; those groups who do continue to tolerate milk, however have exercised great creativity in using the milk of domesticated ungulates, not only of cattle, but sheep, yaks, water buffalo, horses and camels. India is buffalo milk in the world. In food use, from 1961, the term milk has been defined under Codex Alimentarius standards as: "the normal mammary secretion of milking animals obtained from one or more milkings without either addition to it or extraction from it, intended for consumption as liquid milk or for further processing." The term dairy relates to animal milk production.
A substance secreted by pigeons to feed their young is called "crop milk" and bears some resemblance to mammalian milk, although it is not consumed as a milk substitute. The definition above precludes non-animal products which resemble dairy milk in color and texture, such as almond milk, coconut milk, rice milk, soy milk. In English, the word "milk" has been used to refer to "milk-like plant juices" since 1200 AD. In the USA, milk alternatives now command 13% of the "milk" market, leading the US dairy industry to attempt, multiple times, to sue producers of dairy milk alternatives, to have the name "milk" limited to animal milk, so far without success; the mammary gland is thought to have derived from apocrine skin glands. It has been suggested. Much of the argument is based on monotremes; the original adaptive significance of milk secretions may have been nutrition or immunological protection. This secretion became more copious and accrued nutritional complexity over evolutionary time. Tritylodontid cynodonts seem to have displayed lactation, based on
Egg as food
Some eggs are laid by female animals of many different species, including birds, amphibians and fish, have been eaten by humans for thousands of years. Bird and reptile eggs consist of a protective eggshell and vitellus, contained within various thin membranes; the most consumed eggs are chicken eggs. Other poultry eggs including those of duck and quail are eaten. Fish eggs are called caviar. Egg yolks and whole eggs store significant amounts of protein and choline, are used in cookery. Due to their protein content, the United States Department of Agriculture categorized eggs as Meats within the Food Guide Pyramid. Despite the nutritional value of eggs, there are some potential health issues arising from cholesterol content, salmonella contamination, allergy to egg proteins. Chickens and other egg-laying creatures are kept throughout the world and mass production of chicken eggs is a global industry. In 2009, an estimated 62.1 million metric tons of eggs were produced worldwide from a total laying flock of 6.4 billion hens.
There are issues of regional variation in demand and expectation, as well as current debates concerning methods of mass production. In 2012, the European Union banned battery husbandry of chickens. Bird eggs have been valuable foodstuffs since prehistory, in both hunting societies and more recent cultures where birds were domesticated; the chicken was domesticated for its eggs before 7500 BCE. Chickens were brought to Sumer and Egypt by 1500 BCE, arrived in Greece around 800 BCE, where the quail had been the primary source of eggs. In Thebes, the tomb of Haremhab, dating to 1420 BCE, shows a depiction of a man carrying bowls of ostrich eggs and other large eggs those of the pelican, as offerings. In ancient Rome, eggs were preserved using a number of methods and meals started with an egg course; the Romans crushed the shells in their plates to prevent evil spirits from hiding there. In the Middle Ages, eggs were forbidden during Lent because of their richness; the word mayonnaise was derived from moyeu, the medieval French word for the yolk, meaning center or hub.
Egg scrambled. The dried egg industry developed in the nineteenth century, before the rise of the frozen egg industry. In 1878, a company in St. Louis, Missouri started to transform egg yolk and egg white into a light-brown, meal-like substance by using a drying process; the production of dried eggs expanded during World War II, for use by the United States Armed Forces and its allies. In 1911, the egg carton was invented by Joseph Coyle in Smithers, British Columbia, to solve a dispute about broken eggs between a farmer in Bulkley Valley and the owner of the Aldermere Hotel. Early egg cartons were made of paper. Bird eggs are a common one of the most versatile ingredients used in cooking, they are important in many branches of the modern food industry. The most used bird eggs are those from the chicken and goose eggs. Smaller eggs, such as quail eggs, are used as a gourmet ingredient in Western countries. Eggs are a common everyday food in many parts of Asia, such as China and Thailand, with Asian production providing 59 percent of the world total in 2013.
The largest bird eggs, from ostriches, tend to be used only as special luxury food. Gull eggs are considered a delicacy in England, as well as in some Scandinavian countries in Norway. In some African countries, guineafowl eggs are seen in marketplaces in the spring of each year. Pheasant eggs and emu eggs are edible, but less available, sometimes they are obtainable from farmers, poulterers, or luxury grocery stores. In many countries, wild bird eggs are protected by laws which prohibit the collecting or selling of them, or permit collection only during specific periods of the year. In 2013, world production of chicken eggs was 68.3 million tonnes. The largest four producers were China at 24.8 million of this total, the United States at 5.6 million, India at 3.8 million, Japan at 2.5 million. A typical large egg factory ships a million dozen eggs per week. For the month of January 2019, the United States produced 9.41 billion eggs, with 8.2 billion for table consumption and 1.2 billion for raising chicks.
Americans are projected to each consume 279 eggs in 2019, the highest since 1973, but less than the 405 eggs eaten per person in 1945. During production, eggs are candled to check their quality; the size of its air cell is determined, the examination reveals whether the egg was fertilized and thereby contains an embryo. Depending on local regulations, eggs may be washed before being placed in egg boxes, although washing may shorten their length of freshness; the shape of an egg resembles a prolate spheroid with one end larger than the other and has cylindrical symmetry along the long axis. An egg is surrounded by a hard shell. Thin membranes exist inside the shell; the egg yolk is suspended in the egg white by two spiral bands of tissue called the chalazae. The larger end of the egg contains an air cell that forms when the contents of the egg cool down and contract after it is laid. Chicken eggs are graded according to the size of this air cell, measured during candling. A fresh egg has a small air cell and receives a grade of AA.
As the size of the air cell increases and the quality of the egg decreases, the grade moves from AA to A to B. This provides a way of t
Carbonated water or soda water is water containing dissolved carbon dioxide gas, either artificially injected under pressure or occurring due to natural geological processes. Carbonation causes small bubbles to form. Common forms include sparkling natural mineral water, club soda, commercially produced sparkling water. Club soda, sparkling mineral water and many other sparkling waters contain added or dissolved minerals such as potassium bicarbonate, sodium bicarbonate, sodium citrate, or potassium sulfate; these occur in some mineral waters but are commonly added artificially to man-made waters to mimic a natural flavor profile. Various carbonated waters are sold in bottles and cans, with some produced on demand by commercial carbonation systems in bars and restaurants, or made at home using a carbon dioxide cartridge, it is thought the first person to aerate water with carbon dioxide was William Brownrigg in 1740, although he never published a paper. Carbonated water was independently accidentally invented by Joseph Priestley in 1767 when he discovered a method of infusing water with carbon dioxide after suspending a bowl of water above a beer vat at a brewery in Leeds, England.
He wrote of the "peculiar satisfaction" he found in drinking it, in 1772 he published a paper entitled Impregnating Water with Fixed Air. Priestley’s apparatus, which featured a bladder between the generator and the absorption tank to regulate the flow of carbon dioxide, was soon joined by a wide range of others, but it wasn’t until 1781 that carbonated water began being produced on a large scale with the establishment of companies specialized in producing artificial mineral water; the first factory was built by Thomas Henry of England. Henry replaced the bladder in Priestley’s system with large bellows. While Priestley is regarded as “the father of the soft drink,” he did not benefit financially from his invention, he did however receive scientific recognition when the Council of the Royal Society “were moved to reward its discoverer with the Copley Medal” in 1772. Natural and man-made carbonated waters may contain a small amount of sodium chloride, sodium citrate, sodium bicarbonate, potassium bicarbonate, potassium citrate, potassium sulfate, or disodium phosphate, depending on the product.
These occur in mineral waters but are added artificially to commercially produced waters to mimic a natural flavor profile. Artesian wells in such places as Mihalkovo in the Bulgarian Rhodope Mountains, Medžitlija in North Macedonia, most notably in Selters in the German Taunus mountains, produce effervescent mineral waters. By itself, carbonated water appears to have little impact on health. While carbonated water is somewhat acidic, this acidity can be neutralized by saliva. A study found that sparkling mineral water is more erosive to teeth than non-carbonated water but is about 100 times less erosive to teeth than are soft drinks. Carbonated water may increase irritable bowel syndrome symptoms of bloating and gas due to the release of carbon dioxide in the digestive tract, it does not appear to have an effect on gastroesophageal reflux disease. There is tentative evidence that carbonated water may help with constipation among people who have had a stroke. Carbonated water such as club soda or sparkling water is defined in US law as a food of minimal nutritional value if minerals, vitamins, or artificial sweeteners have been added to it.
Carbon dioxide gas dissolved in water at a low concentration creates carbonic acid according to the following reaction: H 2 O + CO 2 ↽ − − ⇀ H 2 CO 3 The acid gives carbonated water a tart flavor. The pH level between 3 and 4 is in between apple juice and orange juice in acidity, but much less acidic than the acid in the stomach. A normal, healthy human body maintains pH equilibrium via acid–base homeostasis and will not be materially adversely affected by consumption of plain carbonated water. Alkaline salts, such as sodium bicarbonate, potassium bicarbonate, or potassium citrate, will increase pH; the amount of a gas that can be dissolved in water is described by Henry's Law. In the carbonization process water is chilled, optimally to just above freezing, to maximize the amount of carbon dioxide that can be dissolved in it. Higher gas pressure and lower temperature cause more gas to dissolve in the liquid; when the temperature is raised or the pressure is reduced, carbon dioxide effervesces, thereby escaping from the solution.
Many alcoholic drinks, such as beer and champagne, were carbonated through the fermentation process for centuries. In 1662 Christopher Merret was creating'sparkling wine'. William Brownrigg was the first to produce artificial carbonated water, in the early 1740s, by using carbon dioxide taken from mines. In 1750 the Frenchman Gabriel François Venel produced artificial carbonated water, though he misunderstood the nature of the gas that caused the carbonation. In 1764, Irish chemist Dr. Macbride infused water with carbon dioxide as part of a series of experiments on fermentation and putrefaction. In 1766 Henry Cavendish devised an aerating apparatus that would inspire Joseph Priestley to carry out his own experiments with regards to carbonated waters. Ca
Dough is a thick, sometimes elastic, paste made out of any grains, leguminous or chestnut crops. Dough is made by mixing flour with a small amount of water and/or other liquid, sometimes includes flour yeast or other leavening agents as well as other ingredients such as various fats or flavorings; the process of making and shaping dough is a precursor to making a wide variety of foodstuffs breads and bread-based items, but including biscuits, cookies, flatbreads, pasta, pizza and similar items. Doughs are made from a wide variety of flours wheat but flours made from maize, rye, legumes and other cereals and crops used around the world. Doughs vary depending on ingredients, the kind of product being produced, the type of leavening agent, how the dough is mixed, cooking or baking technique. There is no formal definition of. Leavened or fermented doughs are used all over the world to make various breads. Salt, oils or fats, sugars or honey and sometimes milk or eggs are common ingredients in bread dough.
Commercial bread doughs may include dough conditioners, a class of ingredients that aid in dough consistency and final product. Flatbreads such as pita, lavash, matzah or matzo, roti, sangak and yufka are eaten around the world and are made from dough; some flatbreads, such as naan, use leavening agents. Crackers are made from dough, some are leavened. Pasta and noodles are based on unleavened doughs that are worked until they are dry and smooth, shaped into their final form; the finished pasta may be cooked or dried before cooking. Doughs with higher fat content have a lesser water content, develop less gluten and are therefore less elastic than bread doughs; this category includes many pie crust doughs, such as shortcrust pastry. In many parts of central India, people use the quick method of making an instant roasted dough ball or baati. In countries in the Sahel region of Africa, dough balls called aiysh or biya are made from sorghum or millet, are ground and boiled. Quick breads use leavening agents other than yeast, include most cookies, cakes and more.
Techniques used in dough production depend on the type of final product. For yeast-based and sponge breads, a common production technique is the dough is mixed and left to rise. Many bread doughs call for a second stage, where the dough is kneaded again, shaped into the final form, left to rise a final time before baking. Kneading is the process of working a dough to produce a elastic dough by developing gluten; this process is both time-dependent. Pasta is made from a dry dough, kneaded and shaped, either through extrusion, rolling out in a pasta machine, or stretched or shaped by hand. Pasta may be cooked directly after dried, which renders it shelf-stable. Doughs for biscuits and many flatbreads which are not leavened with yeast are mixed but not kneaded or left to rise. While breads and other products made from doughs are baked, some types of dough-based foods are cooked over direct heat, such as tortillas, which are cooked directly on a griddle. Fried dough foods are common in many cultures.
Pancakes, some kinds of bar cookies such as brownies, many cakes and quick breads are made with a semi-liquid batter of flour and liquid, poured into the final shape, rather than a solid dough. Unlike bread dough, these batters are not stabilized by the formation of a gluten network. Acetone peroxide is an oxidizing agent used to strengthen flour; this product speeds up the oxidation process which allows companies to produce baked goods faster and more efficiently. Ammonium persulfate is used in baking, which acts to improve baking color of flour; this additive supplies nitrogen for the yeast which improves consistency and shelf life. It serves to control the pH of flour and baked products. Ascorbic acid, otherwise known as vitamin C, is used as an antioxidant in dough. By controlling the amount of oxygen reacting with the bread products, it acts to promote optimal taste and texture, it is used as an ingredient preservative in baked goods, as it increases the shelf life by controlling oxidation.
This additive can boost a product's vitamin content, when used in bread, it enhances the elasticity and size of the loaf when baked. Azodicarbonamide is used as a bleaching agent in flour and helps the dough rise through its conditioning properties. There is however public concern over the use of azodicarbonamide being used in yoga mats and other plastic foams, as it has been associated with respiratory problems. A Canadian expert argues that respiratory problems associated with azodicarbonamide are associated with workers in industrial plants who inhale the chemical, the reason some countries have banned th
In botany, a fruit is the seed-bearing structure in flowering plants formed from the ovary after flowering. Fruits are the means. Edible fruits, in particular, have propagated with the movements of humans and animals in a symbiotic relationship as a means for seed dispersal and nutrition. Accordingly, fruits account for a substantial fraction of the world's agricultural output, some have acquired extensive cultural and symbolic meanings. In common language usage, "fruit" means the fleshy seed-associated structures of a plant that are sweet or sour, edible in the raw state, such as apples, grapes, lemons and strawberries. On the other hand, in botanical usage, "fruit" includes many structures that are not called "fruits", such as bean pods, corn kernels and wheat grains; the section of a fungus that produces spores is called a fruiting body. Many common terms for seeds and fruit do not correspond to the botanical classifications. In culinary terminology, a fruit is any sweet-tasting plant part a botanical fruit.
However, in botany, a fruit is the ripened ovary or carpel that contains seeds, a nut is a type of fruit and not a seed, a seed is a ripened ovule. Examples of culinary "vegetables" and nuts that are botanically fruit include corn, eggplant, sweet pepper, tomato. In addition, some spices, such as allspice and chili pepper, are fruits. In contrast, rhubarb is referred to as a fruit, because it is used to make sweet desserts such as pies, though only the petiole of the rhubarb plant is edible, edible gymnosperm seeds are given fruit names, e.g. ginkgo nuts and pine nuts. Botanically, a cereal grain, such as corn, rice, or wheat, is a kind of fruit, termed a caryopsis. However, the fruit wall is thin and is fused to the seed coat, so all of the edible grain is a seed; the outer edible layer, is the pericarp, formed from the ovary and surrounding the seeds, although in some species other tissues contribute to or form the edible portion. The pericarp may be described in three layers from outer to inner, the epicarp and endocarp.
Fruit that bears a prominent pointed terminal projection is said to be beaked. A fruit results from maturation of one or more flowers, the gynoecium of the flower forms all or part of the fruit. Inside the ovary/ovaries are one or more ovules where the megagametophyte contains the egg cell. After double fertilization, these ovules will become seeds; the ovules are fertilized in a process that starts with pollination, which involves the movement of pollen from the stamens to the stigma of flowers. After pollination, a tube grows from the pollen through the stigma into the ovary to the ovule and two sperm are transferred from the pollen to the megagametophyte. Within the megagametophyte one of the two sperm unites with the egg, forming a zygote, the second sperm enters the central cell forming the endosperm mother cell, which completes the double fertilization process; the zygote will give rise to the embryo of the seed, the endosperm mother cell will give rise to endosperm, a nutritive tissue used by the embryo.
As the ovules develop into seeds, the ovary begins to ripen and the ovary wall, the pericarp, may become fleshy, or form a hard outer covering. In some multiseeded fruits, the extent to which the flesh develops is proportional to the number of fertilized ovules; the pericarp is differentiated into two or three distinct layers called the exocarp and endocarp. In some fruits simple fruits derived from an inferior ovary, other parts of the flower, fuse with the ovary and ripen with it. In other cases, the sepals, petals and/or stamens and style of the flower fall off; when such other floral parts are a significant part of the fruit, it is called an accessory fruit. Since other parts of the flower may contribute to the structure of the fruit, it is important to study flower structure to understand how a particular fruit forms. There are three general modes of fruit development: Apocarpous fruits develop from a single flower having one or more separate carpels, they are the simplest fruits. Syncarpous fruits develop from a single gynoecium having two or more carpels fused together.
Multiple fruits form from many different flowers. Plant scientists have grouped fruits into three main groups, simple fruits, aggregate fruits, composite or multiple fruits; the groupings are not evolutionarily relevant, since many diverse plant taxa may be in the same group, but reflect how the flower organs are arranged and how the fruits develop. Simple fruits can be either dry or fleshy, result from the ripening of a simple or compound ovary in a flower with only one pistil. Dry fruits may be either dehiscent, or indehiscent. Types of dry, simple fruits, examples of each, include: achene – most seen in aggregate fruits capsule – caryopsis – cypsela – an achene-like fruit derived from the individual florets in a capitulum. Fibrous drupe – follicle – is formed from a single carpel, opens by one suture
Cake is a form of sweet dessert, baked. In their oldest forms, cakes were modifications of breads, but cakes now cover a wide range of preparations that can be simple or elaborate, that share features with other desserts such as pastries, meringues and pies. Typical cake ingredients are flour, eggs, butter or oil or margarine, a liquid, leavening agents, such as baking soda or baking powder. Common additional ingredients and flavourings include dried, candied, or fresh fruit, nuts and extracts such as vanilla, with numerous substitutions for the primary ingredients. Cakes can be filled with fruit preserves, nuts or dessert sauces, iced with buttercream or other icings, decorated with marzipan, piped borders, or candied fruit. Cake is served as a celebratory dish on ceremonial occasions, such as weddings and birthdays. There are countless cake recipes. Cake making is no longer a complicated procedure; the term "cake" has a long history. The word itself is of Viking origin, from the Old Norse word "kaka".
The ancient Greeks called cake πλακοῦς, derived from the word for "flat", πλακόεις. It was baked using flour mixed with eggs, milk and honey, they had a cake called "satura", a flat heavy cake. During the Roman period, the name for cake became "placenta", derived from the Greek term. A placenta was baked inside a pastry case; the Greeks invented beer as a leavener, frying fritters in olive oil, cheesecakes using goat's milk. In ancient Rome, basic bread dough was sometimes enriched with butter and honey, which produced a sweet and cake-like baked good. Latin poet Ovid refers his and his brother's birthday party and cake in his first book of exile, Tristia. Early cakes in England were essentially bread: the most obvious differences between a "cake" and "bread" were the round, flat shape of the cakes, the cooking method, which turned cakes over once while cooking, while bread was left upright throughout the baking process. Sponge cakes, leavened with beaten eggs, originated during the Renaissance in Spain.
During the Great Depression, there was a surplus of molasses and the need to provide made food to millions of economically depressed people in the United States. One company patented a cake-bread mix in order to deal with this economic situation, thereby established the first line of cake in a box. In so doing, cake as it is known today became a mass-produced good rather than a home- or bakery-made specialty. During the post-war boom, other American companies developed this idea further, marketing cake mix on the principle of convenience to housewives; when sales dropped in the 1950s, marketers discovered that baking cakes, once a task at which housewives could exercise skill and creativity, had become dispiriting. This was a period in American ideological history when women, retired from the war-time labor force, were confined to the domestic sphere, while still exposed to the blossoming consumerism in the US; this inspired psychologist Ernest Dichter to find a solution to the cake mix problem in frosting.
Since making the cake was so simple and other in-home cake makers could expend their creative energy on cake decorating inspired by, among other things, photographs in magazines of elaborately decorated cakes. Since, cake in a box has become a staple of supermarkets, is complemented with frosting in a can. Cakes are broadly divided into several categories, based on ingredients and mixing techniques. Although clear examples of the difference between cake and bread are easy to find, the precise classification has always been elusive. For example, banana bread may be properly considered either a cake. Butter cakes are made from creamed butter, sugar and flour, they rely on the combination of butter and sugar beaten for an extended time to incorporate air into the batter. A classic pound cake is made with a pound each of butter, sugar and flour. Baking powder is in many butter cakes, such as Victoria sponge; the ingredients are sometimes mixed without creaming the butter, using recipes for simple and quick cakes.
Sponge cakes are made from whipped eggs and flour. They rely on trapped air in a protein matrix to provide leavening, sometimes with a bit of baking powder or other chemical leaven added as insurance. Sponge cakes are thought to be the oldest cakes made without yeast. An angel food cake is a white sponge cake that uses only the whites of the eggs and is traditionally baked in a tube pan; the French Génoise is a sponge cake. Decorated sponge cakes with lavish toppings are sometimes called gateau, the French word for cake. Chiffon cakes are sponge cakes with vegetable oil. Chocolate cakes are butter cakes, sponge cakes, or other cakes flavored with melted chocolate or cocoa powder. German chocolate cake is a variety of chocolate cake. Fudge cakes are chocolate cakes. Coffee cake is thought of as a cake to serve with coffee or tea at breakfast or at a coffee break; some types use yeast as a leavening agent while others use baking powder. These cakes have a crumb topping called streusel or a light glaze drizzle.
Baked flourless cakes flourless chocolate cakes. Cheesecakes, des