Two classic desserts go in. Only one comes out alive. Such is the brutal reality of the Southern Sweets Showdown.
Today’s choice comes down to one largely of texture and appearance.
Bread Pudding, the three-seed in the Cakes, Puddings & Ice Cream region, is a lumpy, gooey concoction that is all about flavor. A dessert from humble origins, bread pudding was created in Europe and the Middle East centuries ago as a use for stale bread. In the New World, the dish became popular in the South, where dishes made the best use of resources in a simply stocked kitchen.
The six-seed Red Velvet Cake, on the other hand, is a grand dessert. Proud, upright, bold of color and often topped with a stark white icing for contrast, Red Velvet Cake is like the evening gown of Southern desserts. There are a number of theories as to its origin, but this one seems to have been very well researched. Here’s an excerpt:
“… it seems clear that Americans would have understood Red Velvet as a hybrid—a Red Devil’s Food crossed with a chocolate Velvet. It was significant not for its redness, such as it was, but for its velvety crumb.”
Thanks to an entrepreneurial gambit by a maker of flavorings and food coloring, the cake began to transform from haute cuisine to haute couture, emphasizing style over substance. Still, many Southerners swear by it as the ultimate Dixie dessert.
Who moves on? The homely and delectable, or the beautiful and austere?