Sweet treats had been a part of nuptial feasts for centuries, but Queen Victoria's tiered white cake took the tradition to new heights.

几个世纪以来,甜食一直是婚礼宴席的一部分,但维多利亚女王的分层白色蛋糕将这一传统推向了新的高度。

BYIN?S ANT?N

作者:伊内斯·安东
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Layers of cake, each one ornately decorated with piped icing and stacked atop each other, is a staple of many modern weddings. The moment when the newlyweds cut their first slice of wedding cake is a popular photo op, a tradition that goes back to British royalty. By the 19th century cake at wedding celebrations was nothing new; it had been a part of the marriage ceremony since ancient times. The Romans crumbled a cereal cake over the bride’s head, and in medi England the bride and groom would kiss over a confection made of small, stacked buns.

多层蛋糕是许多现代婚礼的重要食物,每一层都用滚边糖衣装饰着,层层堆叠,尽显华丽。新婚夫妇共同切下第一块婚礼蛋糕的瞬间是一个广受欢迎的留影时刻,这一传统可以追溯到英国皇室。到了19世纪,婚礼蛋糕已经不是什么新鲜事了; 因为自古以来,婚礼蛋糕就是婚礼仪式的一部分。罗马人会在新娘的头上撒上麦片蛋糕,在中世纪的英国,新娘和新郎会在由堆叠起来的小面包做成的甜点上接吻。

The 1840 wedding of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha took this old tradition and turned it into something new. Their cake was big: three tiers of English plum cake that stood 14 inches tall, measured nearly 10 feet across, and weighed 300 pounds.

1840年,维多利亚女王和萨克森-科堡-哥达的阿尔伯特王子举行了婚礼,婚礼上他们对这一古老的传统进行了创新。他们的蛋糕很大,那是一个三层的英国梅子蛋糕,14英寸高,近10英尺宽,300磅重。

A drawing of a bride cutting a wedding cake
A bride cuts the cake in a British colorplate illustration from 1900.

在一幅1900年的英国彩色插图中,一位新娘正在切蛋糕。

Standing tall

高高地站立着

The height of Queen Victoria’s cake was a novelty: Most traditional English cakes were one layer at that time. Food historians believe that the queen wanted her cake to reflect a French influence, which had become popular in England. The origins of the high-rise cake go back to prerevolutionary France, when chefs began cooking ever more ornamentally and vertically. After the revolution, fancy confectioners and p?tissiers left France for England, where they and their craft were embraced by the British upper classes.

维多利亚女王的婚礼蛋糕的高度很新奇,毕竟当时大多数传统的英国蛋糕都是一层的。食品历史学家认为,当时法国文化对英国有着很大的影响,女王是希望她的婚礼蛋糕能够反映法国的这种影响。多层蛋糕的起源可以追溯到法国大革命前,那时的厨师们开始更加注重食物的装饰性和垂直性。法国大革命后,一些制作精美糖果的手艺人和糕点师傅离开法国前往英国,在那里,他们和他们的手艺受到了英国上层阶级的欢迎。

Some have speculated that these taller cakes were made in the early 18th century by a London baker, inspired to re-create the steeple of St. Bride’s Church designed by the architect Christopher Wren. In his book Wedding Cakes and Cultural History, Simon R. Charsley casts doubt on that idea: “It Anglicizes the history of the vertical cake, placing its origin . . . before the influx of continental confectioners at the end of the 18th century.”

有人猜测,这些更高的蛋糕是在18世纪早期由伦敦的一位面包师制作的,他的灵感来自于对建筑师克里斯托弗·雷恩(Christopher Wren)设计的圣布赖德教堂(St. Bride’s Church)的尖塔的改造。不过在《婚礼蛋糕和文化历史》一书中,作者西蒙·查斯利(Simon R. Charsley)对这个观点提出了质疑:“它使多层蛋糕的历史英国化了,至于其起源……在18世纪末大陆糖果商涌入英国之前英国就已经出现了多层蛋糕。”

Adding to the spectacle (and height) was one of the world’s first cake toppers. Victoria and Albert’s cake featured several miniature statues, including Britannia, a female personification of Great Britain, on top, blessing the royal couple clad in Roman costume. It soon became popular for small figurines of a bride and groom to appear on top of commoners’ cakes.

这个蛋糕是世界上第一个带有繁复装饰的蛋糕,这更增加了观感(和高度)。维多利亚和阿尔伯特的蛋糕上有几个微型雕像,雕像内容包括大不列颠岛,在岛上,一个身着罗马服装的英国女性形象在为这对新婚的王室夫妇送上祝福。不久,装饰着新郎新娘的小雕像的蛋糕开始出现在平民的婚礼上,随之这种蛋糕变得流行起来。

Perhaps the most enduring legacy of Victoria’s wedding cake was the use of pure white royal icing to cover the entire confection. Refined white sugar, which is used to create the iconic look, was very expensive in the 1840s, making the wedding cake a true statement piece. The cake caused a sensation. A detailed print of it reportedly hung in windows around London before the ceremony. Newspapers published images of Victoria’s cake—and every royal wedding cake thereafter—giving everyone a glimpse into the feast.

也许维多利亚的婚礼蛋糕最持久的影响是用纯白色的皇室糖霜覆盖整个蛋糕。这种用来打造标志性造型的精制白糖在19世纪40年代非常昂贵,这使得婚礼蛋糕成为名副其实的点睛单品。这个蛋糕在当时引起了轰动。据报道,婚礼前,一幅详细的蛋糕版画就挂在了伦敦各地的窗户上。报纸上也刊登了维多利亚婚礼蛋糕的照片,这让每个人都有机会一窥这场盛宴。自此之后,皇室婚礼的蛋糕登报也成为一种流行。

By the late 19th century, however, thanks to the drop in sugar prices, tiered cakes with royal icing caught on among a middle class eager to emulate royal splendor on a humbler scale.

然而,到了19世纪后期,由于糖价的下跌,用皇家糖衣制作的分层蛋糕在渴望以较低的规模模仿皇室荣耀的中产阶级中流行起来。
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Queen Victoria’s wedding cake set trends, but it also stuck to tradition. Rather than a delicate sponge cake, it was a fruitcake, loaded with sugar, spirits, and dried fruit. Because of all the sugar and alcohol, fruitcake preserves well, and Queen Victoria’s cake is still around to prove it. The bride gave guests boxed slices as a memento, which were tucked away and saved.

维多利亚女王的婚礼蛋糕引领了潮流,但它也坚持了传统。这不是一个精致的海绵蛋糕,而是一个混合着了糖、烈酒和干果的水果蛋糕。正是由于所有的糖和酒精,水果蛋糕才得以保存良好,维多利亚女王的蛋糕直到今天仍然在证明这一点。新娘送给宾客们盒装的切片蛋糕作为纪念,然后这些宾客将它们藏起来或保存下来。
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Today those royal cake slices are now collector’s items. Two pieces are in the collection of the Royal Trust, while others may sell at auction for thousands of dollars. One preserved slice, still with its elegant box from 1840 (below), sold in 2016 for ?1,500 (about $2,000).

如今,这些皇家蛋糕片已成为收藏家们的藏品。其中两件是皇家信托的收藏品,而其他的可以在拍卖会上卖到数千美元。2016年,一块保存好的切片就以1500英镑(约2000美元)的价格售出,保存该切片的1840年的精美包装盒也还在。
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Growing Big

尺寸越来越大

If commoners were marrying with tiered cakes, royal wedding cakes had to get taller if they were still to convey authority and prestige. Pastry chefs set new royal standards when Queen Victoria’s eldest child, Princess Victoria, married Prince Frederick William of Prussia in 1858.

如果平民要用多层蛋糕结婚,那么皇室婚礼蛋糕必须要再高一些才能显示其权威和威望。1858年,维多利亚女王的长女维多利亚公主嫁给了普鲁士王子弗雷德里克·威廉,婚礼糕点师为王室制定了新的标准。

They created a triple-layer columned cake that stood more than six feet tall. When Prince George (later King George V) married in 1893, his wedding cake also featured columns, but supported three tiers and reached a height of seven feet. Not to be outdone, Lady Elizabeth (bride of the future King George VI) had a 10-foot-tall, nine-tiered cake.

他们制作了一个超过六英尺高的三层圆柱蛋糕。乔治王子(后来的国王乔治五世)在1893年结婚时,他的婚礼蛋糕也有由三层蛋糕模型支撑的柱子,蛋糕高度达到了7英尺。伊丽莎白夫人(未来国王乔治六世的新娘)的婚礼蛋糕也不甘落人后,糕点师做了一个10英尺高的9层蛋糕。

Cakes have continued to be a popular part of a royal wedding’s spectacle, but the trend spread to the masses, making it more than a central prop in a dramatic celebration of the monarchy and state power.

蛋糕一直是皇室婚礼中很受欢迎的一部分,但这一潮流也蔓延到了大众,蛋糕不再仅仅是王室和国家盛大庆典的主要道具。

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