Celebrated on May 19th
Sugar actually keeps everything together Sugar is present in what you bake for more reasons than just sweetening, according to Lucky Peach. Its role is to bind to the water, because it's hygroscopic, meaning it attracts water and keeps it from the other ingredients. Too much sugar, and the cookie crumbles from brittleness. Too little, and it's hard as a rock. Oh My Sugar High adds to this, by explaining that the absence of sugar in a confection allows flour proteins to create gluten, which is why gluten-free foods contain high amounts of sugar.
The link between cakes and birthday celebrations may date back to ancient Roman times. In the 1400s, bakeries in Germany began selling birthday cakes made from sweetened dough. During the 17th century, the birthday cake took on its contemporary form. Some believe that the tradition of birthday candles began in Ancient Greece, when people brought cakes adorned with lit candles to the temple of Artemis, goddess of the hunt. The candles were lit to make them glow like the moon, a popular symbol associated with Artemis. Others believe that the tradition of birthday candles started with the Germans in 1700s.
Bananas were first shipped out of India in the 1830's thanks to a refrigeration method that prevented them from spoiling. They arrived on our shores at Boston Harbor in 1860. It wasn't until the 1930's however, that banana bread began appearing on dessert tables, when baking soda and baking powder came to be used as leavening agents. One story has it that banana bread was actually invented by an elderly woman who was baker at a hotel in Kingston, Jamaica. Whoever invented it, we're glad they did! Banana bread remains today the most popular of the "batter," or "tea breads" in the world.