Black Cake: A History

I don't know of a West Indian (Caribbean) household that does not have this in their homes at christmas time!  From the time, I learnt to make in high-school, I made it every year after.  For the last couple of years, I stopped, since my cousin Natasha's cake was even more divine.  Anyway, since I am not heading home to St.Lucia this year, my mom has her fruit soaking here in Vermont.  Ahh, there can't be a year without this Caribbean christmas cake!

WHEN a man in a hairnet beckons, who can resist?

“Come in back — we can’t talk here,” said Steve Cabral, a baker at Taste the Tropics in Brooklyn, rolling his eyes at two customers innocently eating currant rolls. “All these ladies will want to say their thing.”

I had wandered into the Flatbush bakery in search of black cake, a spicy, fragrant fruitcake steeped in dark rum and tradition that is a Christmas classic throughout the English-speaking Caribbean.

Rivalries among the islands are not always friendly, especially when it comes to cricket and music, but the question of who makes the best black cake is resolved in time-honored fashion.

“One from Grenada, she say one way, one from St. Lucia, she say another way,” Mr. Cabral said in the cadences of his native St. Vincent. “Let me tell you how my mother do it — the culture culture culture way.” - Read more A Fruitcake Soaked in Tropical Sun

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