Photo courtesy of People Magazine.

Photo courtesy of People Magazine.

 

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 to derive from the American flag; however, the significance of red, white, and blue started a year before the flag’s creation. Shen 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”, 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, that existed before the American Revolution. 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 ranging 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’s, HipSilver’s Food, Wine, and Travel Curator’s, simple and delectable almond cake with fresh berries.  

Please enjoy his recipe below.