America Takes the Cake

Linda Civitello
September 9, 2017 @ 10:30 am – 12:00 pm America/Los Angeles Timezone
Los Angeles Central Library
630 W 5th St
Los Angeles, CA 90071

Cake—what would weddings and birthdays be without it? Pre-19th-century cakes were just yeast bread tricked out with eggs, sugar, and spices. Then American women radically reinvented cake using baking powder.

How did recipes and information about the technology for this new cake circulate? Most importantly, how did we arrive at the quintessential American cake—chocolate. Join the Culinary Historians of Southern California to hear NatFAB Fellow Linda Civitello tell the tale and then sample cake from its various incarnations, including historic 18th century gingerbread made with heirloom flour from Pasadena’s Grist & Toll.

Linda Civitello is the author of Baking Powder Wars: The Cutthroat Food Fight That Revolutionized Cooking, which Eater named as one of its 10 Must Read Books. Linda is also the author of the award-winning Cuisine and Culture: A History of Food and People. Linda has taught at culinary schools throughout Southern California and taught the History of Chocolate at UCLA Extension. She has four essays in Savoring Gotham, including “The Oyster Bar at Grand Central” and “Windows on the World.” Linda has appeared on TV on Bizarre Foods and on the BBC’s Who Do You Think You Are? She writes the food history column for Edible Los Angeles. Her next book is Screen Cuisine: Food and Film from Prohibition to James Bond.

For more information visit


Print Friendly, PDF & Email