I should mention that when I lived in Croatia and visited parts of Europe I found cakes that were elevated to the status of high art. And they were as delicious as they looked. Unfortunately in my part of the world most cakes are somewhat less inspired. Often overly sweet, and at times indefensibly ugly, cakes here seem to be more of a platform to support cheap plastic decorations and sappy messages rather than a delicious treat. The worst examples are festooned with edible ink-jet printed photographs. “Hey, I’m eating Uncle Walter’s nose!”. Yuck.
What we lack in cake acumen, however, we more than make up for with our tradition of homemade pies. A pie made of seasonal wild blueberries, or fresh picked rhubarb is, for my money, hard to beat. A good pie does not need to be dressed up with frosting, Sponge Bob figurines, or pyrotechnics. Simple, unpretentious, delicious, satisfying. We do pie right.