After seeing pictures of Ann Romney baking Welsh cakes to feed reporters at the Republican National Convention, and after reading this New York magazine article from an actual Welsh person about how she completely botched the execution of the recipe, I started wondering: what are this treats from across the pond that Mitt Romney‘s wife is using to distract American voters from the fact that he’s evil?
Most Americans had probably never heard of Welsh cakes before they were utilized as a political tool to make the Romneys seem less millionaire-y (See how Ann slaves away in the kitchen? She’s just like you! ), but people in Wales have been munching on the unique snack for hundreds of years. Originally a simple treat for the working class coal miners that once called Wales home, Welsh cakes were invented out of convenience (all of the ingredients were probably in the average pantry) and necessity (imagine spending all day in a coal mine without a nice treat to come home to). Using simple items like flour, sugar, milk and butter, then throwing in some currants or raisins for pizzaz, the women in these Welsh families of yesteryear would whip up a batch of Welsh cakes to brighten up an otherwise depressing lower-class existence.
So I guess it’s the perfect dessert for the Romneys to use if they want to seem down-to-earth. Genius, really…
Anway, let’s try to ignore the bitter taste Mitt and Ann have injected into the Welsh cake and get down to basics — what, exactly, makes these little cakes so special? It’s all about how they are prepared. For starters, the thin rounds of scone-like batter are cooked on a griddle instead of baked, turning the finished product into a puzzling yet delicious hybrid between a cookie, a biscuit and a pancake. But the real reason this seemingly run-of-the-mill cake is so important to Welsh heritage is because it is nearly impossible to mass produce them, meaning every Welsh cake is made with love from the hands of a seasoned baker or grandmother. Well, except Ann Romney’s Welsh cakes, which are probably made with racism and homophobia — sorry, couldn’t help myself.
You can try making Welsh cakes yourself at home, or you can order some from WelshBaker.com. Or, if you’re really jonesing for the authentic stuff, you could fly to Wales and find an old lady to whip up a batch for you. Hell, if Romney wins you should just move there — okay, okay, I’ll stop.
Image courtesy of zingyyellow via FLickr