Pound Cake-A Symbol of Southern Hospitality
Recently, I stumbled across an article where the subject was about Pound Cakes and their significance in the black community. After reading the article I reached out to one of the pasty chefs who was interviewed to confirm I had read correctly that they did not have a recipe for pound cake. I was shocked! Thankfully we have a great relationship and we were able to laugh about it. However, it made me call my sister who is the "Sugar Mama" of pound cakes to ask her input on pound cakes and the significance of them.
Almost in unison we said a pound cake is a sign of southern hospitality. Growing up we remember visiting elders and there was always a pound cake to offer along with a tall glass of sweet tea, milk, water or Kool-Aid. LOL. When we thought about it more we think it's because pound cakes are inexpensive to make and they have a pretty good shelf life. Stored correctly a pound cake can last up to 7 days. Funny part is everybody's pound cake tastes different. Some people make a light cake and others make what we refer to as a "heavy" cake. The whole concept of buying a cake pre-made from the store is something new. Back in the day if you wanted a cake you found someone to do it for you or you would make it yourself. Aside from time (of which no one has anymore), pound cakes are one of the simplest cakes to make.
While pound cakes are great for entertaining visitors, they are also used as a symbol to show your condolences toward a grieving family. Growing up I remember the buffet being full of different pound cakes when someone died. We would go to the "sittin up" as it's affectionately called, and you would look forward to enjoying at least 3 different types of pound cakes from the neighborhood bakers. Now when we go to a "sittin up" the buffet is full of store bought pound cakes. LOL. All I could think of is my grandmother is spinning in her grave because they would NEVER do such a thing.
While I understand that formally trained pasty chefs may choose not to indulge in such a simplistic form of baking, I'm proud to admit that we still make pound cakes here at Carolima's Dessert Boutique and we appreciate every customer who places an order. 'Cause at the end of the day there's nothing like a slice of good old fashioned pound cake!
Pictured: Key Lime Pound Cake by Carolima's Dessert Boutique