The fourth of July has become a widely loved holiday among Americans, and what’s not to love? One of the most quintessential fourth of July food traditions is a red, white, and blue dessert. The three colors seem natural because of the American flag; however, the significance of red, white, and blue started a year before the creation of the flag. The official seal of the United States was presented to the Continental Congress, Secretary Charles Thomson explained: red signifies valor, white signifies purity, and blue signifies perseverance.
Both Ina Garten and Martha Stewart may lay claim to catapulting the berry-striped flag cake, but they were not the first ones to make it. Food52 gives a detailed history of the flag cake. There was the patriotic “election cake” that existed before the American Revolution, which was a heavily spiced, enriched yeast-risen cake that inns baked to feed farmers who came into town for military training, and after independence, to cast their ballots. In the early 1900s, patriotic desserts were petit-fours frosted with light icing and painted blue and red with dyes made from indigo and dried beetle. Even during WWI and WWII, flag cakes were baked to boost spirits. Unquestionably, it’s a classic American tradition to celebrate with desserts from cakes and cookies to pies and ice cream.
Today, there are hundreds of red, white, and blue cakes to honor the independence of the United States. There’s no better way to celebrate the 4th of July than with Monte Mathews, HipSilver’s Food, Wine, and Travel Curator, simple and delectable almond cake with fresh berries.
Please be sure to enjoy his recipe below.