Food can cause a royal hubbub, as did the sponge cake baked last week in celebration of the 90th birthday of Queen Elizabeth. A 31-year-old woman, Nadiya Hussain, winner of the national bake off, had the honor of designing the confection that took 42 eggs and four days to make. The young woman, of Bangladesh origin, was exceedingly nervous about the presentation of the three-tiered cake resembling a stack of regal hatboxes.
The Queen broke the icing, so to speak, by asking, “Does it cut?” To which Nadiya responded, “I hope so.”
Her Majesty was probably leery after getting a knife stuck in a cake at a ceremonial slicing last year. When Prince Charles inquired as to what was in the recipe, Nadiya revealed it was a sponge cake with orange curd, orange drizzle, and orange buttercream. Whereupon, the Queen said the purple-yellow tower sounded delicious and successfully sliced into the bottom layer.
No bites were taken, that is, except by critics, quick to call the creation: hideous, amateurish, wonky, a leaning tower of Pisa, circus-like, unimpressive, terribly embarrassing, and a child’s birthday cake.
I say it’s all a tempest in a royal teapot.