The Royal Wedding of Prince Harry & Meghan Markle
The Royal Wedding of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle is a little over one month away. As the most anticipated royal wedding since Prince William and Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge tied the knot seven years ago, British Royalty fanatics and wedding lovers alike are giddy with expectation. To ramp up the anticipation, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have been sharing glimpses of what to expect on their special day via social media. Since most Royal wedding details are kept a tight-lipped secret until the day-of, their most recent announcement as to the flavor of their wedding cake is causing quite a stir.
The Great Cake Debate
Unlike most non-royal weddings, royal weddings have many predetermined elements, created throughout history and kept in name of tradition. Surprisingly enough, one of the more honored royal wedding traditions has been the flavor of wedding cake.
Customarily, the royal wedding cake has been a multi-tiered fruitcake, inordinately decorated with elaborate piping and intricate sugar work. This tradition spans all the way to Victorian times when Queen Victoria commissioned the creation of her wedding fruitcake in her 1840 union to Prince Albert. In most recent history, the weddings of both Prince Charles to Princess Diana AND Prince William to Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, followed this confectionary custom.
(TOP: Princess Diana and Prince Charles’ 5 tiered Royal Wedding Fruitcake pictured with the head baker of the Royal Naval Cooking School, David Avery / BOTTOM: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William’s 8-tiered Royal Wedding Fruitcake)
Bucking tradition, even in cake form, causes waves.
However, Prince Harry and his bride-to-be are rocking the royal wedding boat by opting out of this time-honored tradition. Rumored by many and confirmed in a tweet from Kensington Palace, the couple has instead chosen to serve a lemon elderflower cake covered in buttercream frosting. While this flavor combination strongly resonates with American brides, it’s considered quite a snub to the Royals before them, sending royal traditionalist and fruitcake lovers into a hysterical frenzy.
Being a 122-year-old fruitcake bakery, you’d believe we’d be among those trying to unbunch our knickers. Collin Street is a bakery which has survived on quality, community, and yes, tradition. To say we took the announcement semi-personal would be an accurate representation of our initial feelings. However, after hearing the reasoning behind this decision, we have actually come to a different way of seeing it.
Sustainability and Provenance
Claire Ptak, owner of Violet Cakes and the baker who will be making this year’s royal wedding cake, was chosen by the royal to-be weds because of her passion in support of food sustainability and food provenance. Food sustainability is the production of food which utilizes farming techniques to protect the environment and local farming communities. Food provenance refers to knowing where one’s food is sourced and in by doing so, actively choosing to support that community’s farmers.
Here at Collin Street Bakery, we are advocates and practitioners of both food sustainability and food provenance. We’ve been practicing both for years. They are a passion of ours, deeply rooted in our company’s culture and our bakery’s values.
We are intimately knowledgeable when it comes to discussions about pecans. To say we use a lot of them would be an understatement. Collin Street uses 20,000 pounds a day during the holiday season alone… that’s a lot of pecans. Our pecans come from all over the southern United States like Georgia, Louisiana, and New Mexico, with the majority of our pecans coming from Texas and Oklahoma.
Pecans trees are indigenous to the southern regions of North America. There are basically two broad varieties of pecans, natives, and papershells (or improved varieties). Though the papershells are larger, the natives tend to produce nutmeats with a higher oil content and sweeter flavor. Collin Street Bakery and our pecan shelling facility, Navarro Pecan Company, specifically select the regions and farms where we purchase our pecans for two crucial reasons:
1. We use so many! - Therefore we find it critically important to ensure our ingredients are of the absolute highest quantity.
2. We aim to bake the highest quality products and that would be impossible without our pecan farmers. By supporting the farms which grow only the highest quality pecans, our most valuable baking commodity, we can ensure the longevity of both those farming communities and the gold standard of our baked goods.
Made by some of Mother Nature's hardest workers, our desserts are sweetened with the taste of pure clover honey. This mild tasting honey is produced from the clover flower, which contributes to more honey production in the United States than any other group of plants. There are three primary types of clovers most critical to this type of honey production: white and yellow clover, red clover, and Alsike clover. Depending on which species of the plant most visited during nectar collection, the bees can produce honey varying in color from translucent white to amber.
By purchasing locally produced clover honey, we at the Collin Street Bakery can help to ensure the health and survival of local and global agriculture’s most valued ally - the honey bee.
Cherries, Pineapple, Papaya, OH MY!
We source our fruits from all across the globe, choosing not only the finest of nature's bounty but also choosing the communities which grow our produce.
Our cherries are grown in Michigan, and parts of the Pacific Northwest. Our apricots are grown in Australia. Our golden Sultana raisins come from California. Lastly, our pineapple and papaya are grown in our very own farms in Costa Rica.
No Hard Feelings, Harry
Although Harry and Meghan won’t be slicing into a fruitcake after trading “I do’s,” they will be supporting a cause very close to our hearts. They have chosen to forge their own path; but without realizing it, they have actually decided to carry a torch for a cause we not only support, but live everyday in our bakeries.
Food is the fuel of our lives. High-quality food produces a high-quality life.
That’s why it is critically important to support sustainable agriculture and to instill a profound respect and avid appreciation for the communities which cultivate our fruits and nuts. By buying Collin Street Bakery goods, you are supporting the longevity and health of farming communities around the globe.
Let's continue to grow together. Let’s continue to consciously consume.