Posts Tagged With: Vienna

339/365: National Comfort Food Day*

Today’s food holiday is a throwback to simpler times, and is sure to evoke a sense of nostalgia. December 5 is National Comfort Food Day!

It’s also National Sacher Torte Day. I was intrigued by this, as I had no idea what a Sacher Torte is. Turns out it’s a specific type of rich chocolate cake made only in Vienna and Salzburg, Austria. It’s been around since 1832 and consists of two layers of dense chocolate sponge cake, separated by a layer of apricot conserve in the middle and covered in dark chocolate icing. Holy cow, that sounds good! Fortunately, it can be shipped globally. Unfortunately, when I went to the website, here’s what I saw:

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Sadly, my experience with the Austrian language is limited to…umm…nothing. I don’t know one damn word. I mean, I get that the cake is 12 cm, but that’s about it. After some online research I was able to convert the price from Euros to dollars. $27.51, at the time of this writing. For a 12 cm cake. Plus international shipping. As dedicated as we are to this challenge, and as wonderful as I’m sure the torte is, I think we’re going to have to stick with comfort food instead.

The concept of comfort food may have been around forever, but the term wasn’t added to the dictionary until 1977. It is defined as food that provides consolation or a feeling of well-being, typically any with a high sugar or other carbohydrate content and associated with childhood or home cooking. Comfort foods vary by culture and region. Some of the dishes commonly associated with American cuisine include apple pie, baked beans, chicken pot pie, chicken soup, fried chicken, green bean casserole, hot dogs, ice cream, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, meatloaf, spaghetti, tomato soup, and tuna casserole, according to a poll conducted by about.com.

With so many comforting choices, we weren’t sure what to make! We’re experiencing bitterly cold weather this week, with highs only right around freezing. So a hearty mac ‘n cheese sounded like the best bet! We combined that with a kielbasa sausage and ended up with a soul-satisfying comfort meal to ward off the chill!

National Comfort Food Day

Categories: Too Weird to Categorize | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments

72/365: National Coconut Torte Day

If you’re a lawyer in the tropics, then today is right up your alley: it’s National Coconut Torte Day! (Torte…tort…a case in which damage, injury, or a wrongful act was done willingly or negligently…okay, this joke was a stretch). The truth is, I never really knew what a torte was before today’s challenge. I thought it was a pie-like pastry, but Tara informed me that’s a tart. Talk about confusing! As it turns out, a torte is a fancy name for a multilayered cake.

Multilayered cakes date back centuries. In fact, the oldest known cake in the world was a Linzer Torte, an Austrian confection with a lattice top and a funny accent. Originally made in the town of Linz, Austria, the cake can be traced back to 1653 thanks to a recipe discovered in an abbey in Vienna in 2005. In the 1850s an Austrian tourist brought the recipe to Milwaukee, a city best known for beer, cheese, and Laverne & Shirley. From there, its popularity spread across the U.S.

If you’ve been reading this blog the past few days, you’ll know that I have recently learned that I do, in fact, have some baking skills. I found a recipe for a coconut torte that seemed easy enough (though perhaps a little too easy, as it was basically a box of white cake mix and a frosting made of sour cream, Cool Whip, sugar, and coconut). I can’t say it was difficult to make, though I did have to knock on my neighbor’s door after dark and borrow the sugar. She’s so used to me doing that, when she opened the door and saw me standing on her doorstep the first words out of her mouth were, “Do you need eggs or sugar?” So I’m giving a special shout-out to Andrea, who saved our coconut torte!

We brought it over to my parents’ house to share after dinner. And guess what? It got rave reviews! The first cake I’ve ever baked in my life turned out to be a rousing success.

Coconut Torte

Categories: Desserts | Tags: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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