Taste of Cayman calls for heavy cake contest entrants

If you think you have the best heavy cake in Grand Cayman, or if you know someone who does, then it is time to enter the annual Taste of Cayman Heavy Cake competition.

Local bakers go cake-to-cake in an effort be crowned “Best Heavy Cake 2013” during the 25th Anniversary Taste of Cayman Food and Wine Festival.

Scheduled to take place Saturday, 26 January 2013, at Camana Bay’s Festival Green, the festival will be a fête of culinary arts in the Cayman Islands, as well as a celebration of Caymanian culture and heritage.

Located in the heart of the festival grounds, All Things Cayman will showcase Caymanian cooking at the demo kitchen, craft demonstrations, fish tea and the heavy cake competition.

Like other cultural arts, the tradition of making Cayman heavy cake is not as widespread as it once was. This is not just from the younger generation’s lack of interest in practicing such traditions, but it is also due to lack of time in a fast-paced world, according to the Cayman Islands Tourism Association.

“The demand for fast food, fast information, fast service and instant gratification in all things seems to be taking over, leaving little to no room for these arts,” said Erin Bodden of the association.

To celebrate Caymanian heritage, which is so wrapped up in this delicacy that it has been affectionately coined the “unofficial national dish”, the Cayman Islands Tourism Association said that it “challenged the community to participate in the heavy cake competition at the 25th Annual Taste of Cayman”.

For the 2013 Taste of Cayman heavy cake competition, the association is accepting entries that utilise only traditional cassava heavy cake ingredients, which include cassava, coconut milk, brown sugar and salt. There is also a new category: most unique heavy cake.

Since there are many countries that have versions of heavy cake, participants can elect to enter a recipe that differs from Cayman’s traditional cake and whip up a cake that uses white sugar instead of brown or maybe the baker wants to throw in some chocolate or blueberries for an added twist.

Festival organisers encourage bakers from all over Grand Cayman to register and try their hand at heavy cake.

The heavy cake bakers will dish out their treasured recipe to judges, festival attendees and heavy cake aficionados, who will have the chance to sample the entries at the Taste of Cayman Food and Wine Festival. The winner will receive a certificate for “Best Heavy Cake 2013” and a $300 cash prize. Second and third place winners will also receive cash prizes of $150 and $50, respectively.

The competition is open to the first 10 entrants to submit a completed form to the Cayman Islands Tourism Association. Rules, regulations and the online entry form is found at www.tasteofcayman.org/heavycake. Those without Internet access may also visit the Cayman Islands Tourism Association office at 1320 West Bay Road to complete the form or call 949-8522.

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