by David Raffin | from Rhyme or Treason (hard fought illusion of choice)
Why are there no funeral cakes anymore? Why is this event not commoditized by the baker’s guild?
Cake is a standard at every other event. Did bakers find it was unwelcome to price gouge on the cake served at a funeral? When funeral cake was discontinued did the price of wedding cake rise?
I understand the Amish still serve funeral cake. They are set in their ways. They still mix it by hand. They make it themselves, bypassing the commercial bakeries altogether.
Was the cake discontinued for lack of choice? Did the mourned get to choose the color, shape, and flavor—stipulating such in a will or codicil, or were these choices thrust upon the mourned by a powerful subset of the mourners? Did someone finally wise up and say, “Who died and made you God?”
Did funeral cake enter disfavor when it was linked, intrinsically, with culinary fascism? Did Mussolini have a funeral cake? Was there enough for everybody? Is that what sullied its reputation the world over?
When Marie Antoinette famously said, “Let them eat cake!” was she talking about her funeral?
My research indicates that funeral cakes may have been somewhat akin to giant cookies. Presumably because it was disrespectful to let the flour rise.
What about funeral pie?
Are cream pies somber enough? Fruit? Pecan?
What about a funeral pudding?
Funeral cotton candy? Made at the funeral in a funeral cotton candy machine?
What about fondue? Which is more appropriate? Cheese, chocolate, coconut, honey, caramel, or marshmallow? Again, who will choose?
Milton Snavely Hershey’s body was dipped in chocolate, then caramel, then rolled in coconut. However, there was no dessert served at the reception. He forgot to leave his dessert instructions.
This is not the sort of thing people like to think about. That’s why people die without wills. That’s why people die with wills but failing to stipulate their final dessert wishes.
Today if you attend a funeral and you want cake you are best advised to keep it to yourself. If you stand and say, “Hey, where’s the cake!” people will think less of you.
Do not even think of sidestepping the problem by bringing a cake to the funeral. People may cry.
You don’t want to be known as the one who ruined the funeral.
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