Sunday, November 11, 2007

The Great Pastry Debate

All right, people, the polls have officially closed and the results are in: Cake won (12 votes), but just by one vote (pie got 11).

Two people said they preferred neither cake nor pie (what?!).

For me, cake is the thing. But cake enjoyed with friends is the best kind of all...

Pictured above is one of the most delicious wedding cakes I've ever eaten. From a lovely wedding we attended one year ago today. Chocolate cake, with chocolate mousse filling, covered in chocolate buttercream. Happy Anniversary, Susan and Charles!

Thanks for voting and stay tuned for the next poll!


bob c said...

i suggest u take the following into consideration before you continu to raise cake in triumph above pie...
(1) consider that marie antoinette said, let them eat cake" because she wanted the pie all to herself. then somebody got mad at her cuz she had all the pie to herself and had her beheaded for it. people just don't go to all that trouble for cake.
(2) the sun is round. the earth is round. a circle is the symbol of perfection, harmony and balance. pies are round. cakes aren't. thank god cavemen liked pies or our wheels would be square and we'd still be living in caves.
(3) there is no mathematical equation or coefficient named after a cake. The number/coefficent Pi which is pretty complex is named after pie. if something is easy it is referred to as 'cake'. ho hum.
(4) everyone knows that u dont upstage the bride at her own wedding. that is why people have cake at weddings. if you had pie at weddings everyone would be talking about how awesome pie is and not about how beautiful the bride is. that just wouldnt be cool on her special day.

Need I say more?

Spandrel Studios said...

OK, Bob, I just can't let your Pie Superiority Manifesto stand without comment, for the following reasons:

1. Square-wedding-cake example above notwithstanding, the vast majority of cakes are round. Ask anyone "Hey, can I borrow a cake pan?" and they're more likely as not to offer you a round, 8- or 9-inch cake pan. So giving pie the advantage simply because it is round doesn't hold water. Cakes are flexible and can take myriad forms (ahem, another benefit!), but I would assert that the vast majority are round.

2. Pies are limiting and uncreative, bound by their filling capacity, fruit quality, and pastry. With cakes, on the other hand, there are infinite varieties in type and flavor and the form (cheesecake, tender-crumb vanilla, chocolate mousse torte, just to name a few). And frosting! The frosting options - glazes, buttercreams, fondants and more - well, they're ... the icing on the cake. Meaning, something extra-special.

3. It's cake, because it's easy, as in easy to please everyone, because everyone loves cake.

4. Since most brides want everyone to enjoy their wedding dessert, and cake appeals to the broadest number of people, the traditional sweet taking center stage at most weddings? That would be cake.

5. Nearly everyone agrees that if a cake sort of doesn't turn out, it can still be very enjoyable... whereas if a pie doesn't work - burnt crust, not enough filling, tough dough - it is bound for the trash.

So, while I like your reasoning, I still think cake has the advantage.

bob c said...

ok karen - i'll continue to engage in this debate & address your case item by item even though u were unable to refute to the iron-clad marie antoinette, pi & wedding evidence. regardless...
(1) yes, perhaps i put too much weight in the round vs non round and it holds no water, but lets face it cakes are round because they're trying to be like pies. putting on a cape doesnt make me superman. u list flexibility and myriad of forms as supporting evidence for why cakes are better. it just makes them more flexible. flexibility doesnt make them better!

(2) see above. i don't disagree that there are more cake options, shapes etc but will argue that more options don't make them better than pie. are pringles better than the kettle chips u listed in your favorite foods post becaue they come in more flavors and sizes? i dont think so.

if anything it proves the great extent cakes go to to compete with pies. more glazing/frosting options make them better?? i cant help but use the analogy of women to illustrate my point. in my book cakes are to pies as tammy faye baker is to diane lane. if u prefer women with gobs of perfume & makeup attempting concealing countless insecurities like tammy faye baker to a natural take-me-as-i-am humbly confident diane lane then i guess we'll agree to disagree.

(3) if everyone does, in fact, love cake why did u ask the question in the first place?

(4) we both know your counterpoint doesnt put a dent into the wedding evidence. im honestly not sure how to respond to the blatant regurgitation of the self-promoting cake propoganda machine. besides - when's the last time u went to a wedding and 1/2 the cake didnt end up uneaten on the abandoned tables? seems to me that people would rather do the chicken dance & dance to bob seger's old time rock n roll than eat their cake...

(5) i dont agree with that theory. id take a burnt crust etc to a mushy cake or fallen cake or sugar headache inducing kitchen disaster they call cake anytime - even if you conceal it in a thick layer of cake makeup.

(6) we obviously disagree. perhaps one's dessert preference is a reflection of one's personality. while i, too, admire your passion for your preferred dessert cake lovers can have the pungently perfumed & makeup laden tammy faye of desserts for dinner in an equally gaudy ornament-laden gingerbread mcmansion house while pie lovers enjoy their dinner with the simply elegant diane lane of desserts in the equally elegant and simply refined barcelona pavilion.
for cake lovers more is more. to pie lovers less is more.

it's been fun karen! i enjoy reading your blog & find it a great way to unwind - keep it up!

Spandrel Studios said...

Hey, hey, hey! This is a friendly discussion; let's not let this degrade into personal attacks on one's character, grooming habits, or home architecture!

Guess we'll just have to agree to disagree.

That said, I know your comments were made with the utmost of sincerity and in the best of humor, and for providing such a valorous display on behalf of the virtues of pie, I hope you and all other pie lovers get your fill this holiday season - be it apple, pumpkin, sweet potato, pecan or any of the other delicious varieties that tempt you this Thanksgiving.

bob c said...

Now that's awfully sweet of you. Not as over-the-top sweet as cake icing, but sweet nonetheless. Happy Thanksgiving to you and all you other cake lovers. You're always welcome at my dessert table as long as you DON'T TOUCH MY PIE!