NATIONAL BAKED ALASKA DAY
Did you know Baked Alaska was originally called Alaska Florida because of its contrasting temperature?
Celebrated every February 1, Baked Alaska exists to encourage people to treat themselves to delicious desserts made of meringue, ice cream, and sponge cake.
THE BAKERY INDUSTRY
Although the baking industry is still fragmented, especially for small bakery retailers, the sector has nearly 3000 commercial bakeries and 600 retail bakeries. It also generates over $30 billion in revenue annually, with Campbell Soup Co., Grupo Bimbo, and Flower Foods being the largest producers accounting for 55% of the whole commercial bakery revenue.
According to The American Bakers Association reports, baked goods made and sold in the U.S.A. amount to $423 billion. Although the profits in the industry are not very high and bakeries can't always transfer raising costs to clients, the baking industry employs close to 800,000 people while generating over 44$ in wages.
Additionally, 65% of all bakeries employ less than 10 people, while 44% have between 1 to 4 employees, with a majority of small retailers still having only 1 facility. Still, Retail bakeries account for $3 billion, while commercial bakeries generate $31 billion in revenue.
HISTORY OF NATIONAL BAKED ALASKA DAY
The story of National Baked Alaska Day started in 1867 after a heated public discussion over a 7$ million agreement by Secretary of State William Seward to acquire Alaska from Russia. A New York chef called Charles Ranhofer of Delmonico’s Restaurant, notorious for naming foods after public figures, used this opportunity to introduce what we know today as Baked Alaska to Delmonico’s menu. He used a frozen-hard ice cream and covered it with meringue on a warm sponge cake to give it a unique test with contrasting temperatures.
Although serving cake with ice cream dates back centuries, cooks of the 1867 era were credited as the first to decorate baked goods with whipped toppings.
To make Baked Alaska place a sponge cake slice on a pie pan bottom and stuff it with your favorite ice cream flavor. Once done, cover it with whipped meringue mixture and bake it at the recommended high temperature of 500°F. The high temperature will enable the meringue to brown and solidify.
During National Baked Alaska, people are encouraged to enjoy tasty spongy cake desserts, ice cream toppings, and delicious bites of yummy retro dishes, often served in flames.