Friday, January 27, 2012

Friday's Flavored tea -- Birthday Dreams

Birthday Dreams

Origin: China

Description: A party in a cup! The flavor of birthday cake through and through, so now every day can be your birthday! Premium Chinese black tea with flavors of cream, vanilla and a whisper of caramel. Rainbow sprinkles added for festive effect. 212° 1 level teaspoon tea per 8 ounces water; steep for 3-5 minutes.

Why do we have birthday cakes?
The birthday cake has been an integral part of the birthday celebrations in Western cultures since the middle of the 19th century. Certain rituals and traditions, such as singing of birthday songs, associated with birthday cakes are common to many Western cultures. The Western tradition of adding lit candles to the top of a birthday cake originates in 18th century Greece. However, the intertwining of cakes and birthday celebrations stretch back to the Ancient Romans. The development of the birthday cake has followed the development of culinary and confectionery advancement. While throughout most of Western history, these elaborate cakes in general were the privilege of the wealthy, birthday cakes are nowadays common to most Western birthday celebrations. Around the world many variations on the birthday cake, or rather the birthday pastry or sweets, exist.

In earlier times, birthday cakes were mostly round in shape. Scholars associate religious beliefs and technical compulsions for the same. Greeks offered round shape cake to the Goddess of Moon - Artemis as it signified moon. Candles placed on the cake made the cake glow like the moon.

Some scholars maintain that cake in the ancient world has association with the annual cycles. Round shapes of cakes were preferred as these represented the cyclical nature of life. Most specifically, the sun and moon.

The technical reason given for the roundness of the cake is that most cakes we know off advanced from the bread. In ancient times breads and cakes were made by hand. Typically, these were fashioned into round balls and baked on hearthstones or in low, shallow pans. Hence, these naturally relaxed into round shapes. With the progress of times baking pans of various shapes were developed and today we see cakes in imaginative shapes and sizes.

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