My husband and I recently celebrated our first wedding anniversary. We ate a lovely steak dinner, reminisced about the wedding (this mostly involved thanking God we were no longer planning it), and toasted our future. We also had a lively discussion about the custom of freezing the top tier of your wedding cake and then eating it one year into your marriage. Specifically, we debated how gross (relatively), it is to do so. Pretty gross, I thought.
I have no idea about the exact origins of this practice, though some very cursory research suggests it dates to medieval Europe. Christians at that time believed eating the top layer of the wedding cake on the first anniversary (which was supposed to coincide with the christening of one's first child) brought good luck to the family.
Seinfeld fans may recall that at least one fairly recent famous couple subscribed to this tradition. In "The Frogger" episode, Elaine's boss J. Peterman buys a slice of Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson's wedding cake (circa 1937), which Elaine later unwittingly eats in front of the office surveillance camera. Although Elaine was positively giddy in the midst of her feeding frenzy (perhaps because she was unaware of the cake's origins), I am doubtful most people would feel that at ease if they knew they were consuming an antique baked good.
The top of our own wedding cake (vanilla with maple cream frosting) has now been sitting in the freezer for more than 365 days. Although I have full confidence in my gastro-intestinal capacities (my stomach has been likened to a goat's), I'm still a bit uncertain about how my digestive system would respond to year-old buttercream frosting. So, I'll probably leave it there for another year and then pitch it to make room for a frozen brisket.
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I am curious, however, if any readers have indulged in their over-ripe wedding cakes, and if cake does, like wine, grow more potent with age.