The main spice in this hummus is Berbere. It is traditionally found in many Ethiopian dishes. Enjoy this hummus in a pita sandwich with meat or veggies. It also tastes great by itself or served as a dip with fresh injera (an Ethiopian bread).
Can you recall the best birthday cake you ever had? Many people can remember with vivid detail the decadence of a thoughtfully cooked birthday treat.
Cakes are a tradition that many cultures use to celebrate birthdays. Most Americans have at least one piece of cake on their birthday.
But you may be surprised to learn what other people around eat to celebrate their birthday. It’s not all cake, and it’s not always sweet. Some are even savory! Here is a glimpse of what birthday “cakes” look like in 8 different countries:
The classic birthday treat down under is a light and fluffy meringue cake. Pavlova is usually topped with cream and local, colorful fruits like kiwi and passionfruit.
In Indonesia, many holidays celebrations include a savory cake made of rice and vegetables. Its layers of yellow rice symbolize wealth and prosperity for the birthday individual.
Pear-shaped pastries filled with lotus paste are often birthday gifts. In Chinese literature, the pear symbolizes immortality and long life, a wish for aging Chinese people.
The British often mix a symbolic item into their birthday cakes. A coin symbolizes wealth, or a thimble is a sign the person won’t marry.
Danish birthday cakes for children are called kagemands or kagekones. Usually the rolled out pastry is shaped like a cake woman or man and is then decorated with candy, chocolate, and icing. Children enjoy the tradition of cutting the cake into pieces. The birthday boy or girl gets to eat the head.
In Ghana cake is not as common. Instead breakfast treats are served during birthday celebrations. Kelewe, is a go-to, consisting of fried plantains spiced with ginger and pepper.
Chileans enjoy merengue birthday cakes with fruit fillings. Lucama, a traditional fruit, that tastes like sweet custard, is a popular flavor for filling. In many Latin American countries, it is traditional to have the “cumplenero” and bite into the cake without utensils, while their friends and family push their face into the cake.
The cassata/rum cake or just the “birthday cake” in Italy, is three or four layers of sponge cake soaked in a rum flavoured mixture, filled with vanilla and chocolate pasty cream (pasticciera) and topped with whipped cream icing and garnished with nuts. Some versions involve covering the cake with a shell of marzipan, pink and green pastel icing and candied fruit, especially citrus fruits grown in the various Italian regions.
Looking to bring something different to your next birthday celebration? Check out Sweet Sanctuary! We offer baked goods and treats from all over the world.
Sweet Sanctuary furthers refugee integration in the Oakland community through delicious, multicultural baked goods.
Oakland has a large population of refugees. Once refugees are admitted into the United States, they are faced with many new challenges. One of the biggest challenges is employment primarily due to their low level of English proficiency and lack of formal work experience. The Sweet Sanctuary provides employment, English language classes, and other business related skill trainings to the refugee women who struggle most due to these reasons.
Our employees are from various countries including Bhutan, Burma, Iraq, Iran, Eritrea, and Afghanistan. They utilize the baking skills and recipes which they know from their home countries. This allows the Sweet Sanctuary to provide a unique variety of offerings for customers. Our customers can enjoy, in addition to luxury of high-quality baked goods, learning about the culture and history of the countries of our employees.
As our brothers and sisters around the world celebrate the holy month of Ramadan, millions of Muslims around the world will abstain from food and water between dawn and dusk.
Don’t forget the importance of food
Especially during Ramadan, it is important to eat foods that will keep your energy high during the hours of fasting. While it might seem like a good idea to load up your plate, this won’t help anything if those foods are unhealthy, loaded with sugar, and contain little protein. In fact, you’ll be hangry by mid-morning and will be probably be grumpy throughout the day.
The suhoor is the most important meal of the day and should healthy and fulfilling: with lots of fiber, lean protein, and healthy fats. You should also remember to eat fruits and veggies. Try to incorporate lots of different color on your plate – greens, carrots, peppers.
(Also, don’t forget to drink at least two glasses of water during the early hours – but try not to chug the water)