How did Red Velvet Cake gain popularity?
Red Velvet Cake became popular through the 1989 drama Steel Magnolias, featuring Julia Roberts, and here is the story behind its origin.
Cakes have become part of many occasions all year round. For many people, events or celebrations are incomplete without a cake, especially during birthdays. However, some people do not need any special occasion just to enjoy a piece of cake.
One of the most popular cake types is Red Velvet. Based on the article in Mental Floss, food writer Angie Mosier called red velvet the “Dolly Parton of cakes … a little bit tacky but you love her.”
In recent decades, this sweet treat’s popularity has grown remarkably. Because of Steel Magnolias, many people think that Red Velvet Cake originated in the South.
Several versions of legends about this dessert were told. One legend involved the Waldorf Astoria restaurants in which a woman asked for the recipe of the red cake that was served to her. She was given the recipe but paid a hefty price for that. Allegedly, to get what she paid, she sold the recipe to as many people as possible.
Another legend involved the Adams Extract Company which sold food coloring and flavoring extracts. Due to the World War in 1940, the company suffered and allegedly, the owner marketed the red dye with the recipe of a cake using that color.
In the book Brave Tart by Stella Parks, there was a recipe called velvet cocoa cake in 1911 which is similar to the “devil’s food.” When this recipe gained popularity, people started baking it using acidic ingredients like buttermilk which gave the cake a red hue but that bright red in the modern Red Velvet.
With this, the cake gained the “Red Devil Cake” tag. Here is the video.
Another amazing food history is behind the popular Chinese food called Dumplings.