Honey is one of the world’s oldest foods. Ancient Egyptian tomb reliefs from as far back as the 3rd millennium B.C. show bees being smoked from their hives to produce it. Nomads and traders helped honey’s popularity spread worldwide, while it remained a prevalent sweetener in the Middle East, where it still often, and wonderfully, appears in Mediterranean, Arab and Jewish dishes.
Jews around the world traditionally celebrate their new year (which this year begins at sundown tonight) by dipping apples in honey, and by eating honey and spice cakes, the better to usher in a “sweet new year.”
And lots of people ring in Fall by making honeyed cakes of wonderful harvest ingredients like pumpkin, and warm spices like cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves.
Of course, you don’t need a new year or season to make this cake. Its firmness and ease of slicing makes it a natural for school lunches and after-school treats. It’s loaded with healthy ingredients and happens to taste especially good.
Photo by Susan Sachs Lipman:
Pumpkin spice cake at the Mill Valley Book Depot