National Baked Alaska Day:
Celebrated annually on February 1, in order to mark and acknowledge America’s accretion of new territory, Alaska, in the year 1868.
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Why National Baked Alaska Day?
In the year 1867, there was a political surge all over the United States of America about the possible purchase of Alaska from Russia. Secretary of the United States, William Steward, agreed to a price of $7 million, and Alaska became a part of the United States territory in the year 1868. At that time, a Chef called Charles Ranhofer at Delmonico’s restaurant had a weird fancy of naming new and renaming old dishes after famous personalities or historical events. Focusing on the heated hubbub around encircling the purchase in the frozen North, the name Baked Alaska fitted perfectly to the situation. The name suitably graced the dessert as it had a cold, nearly freezing ice cream in the center but was immediately surrounded by a toasted meringue before serving.
How Can We Observe National Baked Alaska Day:
- Desserts all the way: Everyone loves desserts. From 2-year-old John to 80-year-old Julie aunty, everyone is a fan, be it in the form of ice cream, cakes, brownies, etc. And what’s better than getting three desserts at the same time. An ice cream, a sponge cake, and some toasted meringue, one cannot simply ask for something better than this.
- Baking time: Food becomes tastier when one prepares it by themselves. On this special occasion, why not indulge in an exciting adventure with your family in making some Baked Alaska for desserts. Some mistakes, some over-baking, and some fun help make memories. The memories you shall cherish forever.
- The Insta life: As the world now revolves around social media, why not show some love there. Uploading photos with #NationalBakedAlaskaDay on all your photos would make your day even more memorable for you, and at the same time, you would be able to reach out to a bigger number of audiences sharing their experiences on this day. And last but not least, this would obviously help you to earn more social media followers.
Interesting Facts on National Baked Alaska Day:
Here are some very interesting Baked Alaska facts for you to enjoy the day even more!!!
- The concept of serving cake and ice cream together did not emerge in the 1860s, but it dates to the Renaissance period.
- The Chinese were the first people in the world who cooked pastry over and ice cream filling.
- The biggest credit for the concept of Baked Alaska can be attributed to American physicist Benjamin Thompson, who had experimented with heat resistance of beaten egg whites, which ultimately resulted in the discovery of the meringue.
- Baked Alaska is also known as Norwegian Omelette, glace au four, omelet á la norvégienne.
- The prior versions of Baked Alaska used pie crusts instead of meringue.
- The Baked Alaska is actually not baked, but a blowtorch is used for toasting the meringue.
- The ice cream inside does not melt because the sponge cake and the meringue all around it act as an insulating material, protecting it from the outside heat.
- The original version had banana-flavored ice cream, walnut spice cake, and the meringue torched to a golden brown color.
History of National Baked Alaska Day:
The origin and founder of this day remain very controversial till this day. During the 1830s, the French had created a very interesting dessert called the “Omelette Norwegge.” This acted as the forefather of present-day Baked Alaska, which had layers of sponge cake, ice cream covered in meringue and broiled. The French named it as such, in accordance with their own frosty territory, Norway. But in the year 1867, when the USA had political turmoil over the purchase of Alaska, it was Chef Ranhofer who came up with this name Baked Alaska to mark the date as such that the world would never forget. O’Connell says, ” To me, it is one of the best exemplars of the Gilded Age in American history.” The price tag reflected its magnificence— the cost of it at that time would today equal around $40.
Today’s present-day Chef at the Delmonico’s (where the dessert was first named as Baked Alaska) says, “It’s been the way since day one of our downtown location, and it’s one of our signature dishes, which people from all over the world come to enjoy.”