March 13, 2012

National Coconut Torte Day

“The coconut trees, lithe and graceful, crowd the beach like a minuet of slender elderly virgins adopting flippant poses.” - William Manchester

It's National Coconut Torte Day!

Today has been the food holiday met with the most delightful surprise. "Coconut Torte Day?" People repeated, a warm smile lighting up their faces. "Really? Well, that sounds amazing!"

Maybe because of their positively infectious attitudes regarding a food I had never previously given a second thought to, I've been looking forward to diving into my homemade torte all day.

But let's have a quick lesson, yeah? A torte is a cake. It comes from the German word for . . . . you guessed it . . . cake. Sometimes torte's have layers (like a Dobos torte). Sometimes they don't. Sometimes cake's have layers! Oh, but sometimes they don't (think Angel Food Cake).

... sooooooo . . . what's the between a cake and a torte?

Well, a cake is less dense than a torte. Oh, and cakes generally use flour only, while tortes use little to no flour, but add ground nut meal instead to achieve that aforementioned density.

Listen, in the end, all you need to know is: all tortes are cakes. And if you accidentally happen to celebrate with a piece of coconut cake instead of coconut torte (because here in the States we have a really bad habit of interchanging the two terms - check out some of the recipes online for "coconut torte" and you'll see many are just making cake), I don't think the food holiday police are going to come after you. So relax, and eat a slice already!

Happy National Coconut Torte Day!