Thursday, 20 August 2015

Wedding Cake - Korovai

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Watching 'Great British Bake off' last night they showed the Ukrainian tradition of a 'Korovai' being made. Essentially this is a wedding cake made out of bread and given to the bride & groom the day before the ceremony.

Where we are seeing more & more non-traditional wedding cakes, I think this would make an excellent accompaniment to a cheese wedding cake.

The bread was traditionally prepared in the home of the bride by women who sang traditional songs to guide them through the making These women were called the korovainytsi (pol. korowajnice), and were most often invited in odd numbers to do the job of making the bread, usually seven.
The embellishments served a symbolic function. Two birds, made out of dough, represent the couple, and other birds represent family and friends. The entire arrangement is surrounded by a wreath of periwinkle, a symbol of love and purity. The korovai receives blessings before it is placed in the oven for baking.
The bride and groom were given the korovai as a blessing before the wedding ceremony. The korovai was shared by all the wedding guests, and this was considered the culmination of the wedding. During times of hardship, when a wedding was impossible, the blessing and sharing of bread was often considered enough to constitute a marriage in the eyes of the community.


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