Thursday, November 09, 2006

Chocolate Cake

Both Jude & Dale, along with two other islanders, Lisa & Pat, serve as Ocracoke's precinct workers. On Tuesday they were checking in voters at the Community Center when talk turned to cake. Dale allowed as how Kay Riddick, who happened to be present, made the island's "best chocolate cake."

Lo and behold, later that afternoon Kay walked in with a package for the workers, laid it on their table, and walked out. Dale opened it and exclaimed, "Kay's brought us each a piece of her chocolate cake." He passed the slices down the table.

Jude looked at her cake. "Dale, this isn't chocolate cake. It's yellow cake with chocolate icing."

"That's chocolate cake," Dale shot back. In the ensuing "discussion" (Jude describes it a s "lively discussion") Jude learned that on the island "chocolate cake" means that the cake has chocolate icing, not that the cake proper is chocolate. Now I know that non-natives can't rightly understand this. And understandably so.

Greatly outnumbered, Jude finally conceded. But then she demanded to know what islanders call a "dark brown cake with cocoa in the batter and chocolate icing." She betrays a smirk when she explains that the native islanders never provided an answer to that one. Come to think of it, I don't know the answer either. Maybe it's illegal to bake that kind of cake on the island!

I'm wondering, do any of our island readers know the answer to the question. any of our other readers call a yellow cake with chocolate icing a "chocolate cake," or is this just an "island thing." We're waiting to hear from y'all.

To see new items we've added to our on-line catalog, please click here: "What's New at Village Craftsmen".

You can read our latest newsletter here. It's the story of two old maps (1590 & 1795) and place names on the Outer Banks.


  1. Anonymous9:59 AM

    In the deep midwestern recesses of Missouri, anything with chocolate frosting is chocolate cake. However, we rarely ponder or identify such things...we just eat it and smile. :o)

  2. Anonymous1:03 PM

    According to rural Alabama where I live (and grew up) you have a chocolate cake. Now, if the cake is "dark brown cake with cocoa in the batter and chocolate icing" it is called a chocolate chocolate cake. I don't know why. Sounds like we just have a limited vocabulary! But my grandmother would always ask me if I wanted her to bake a chocolate cake or a chocolate chocolate cake. Thanks for bringing those memories to me!!
    Mandy Davis
    Ranburne, Alabama

  3. Anonymous7:24 AM

    I have to agree with Jude-you had a yellow cake with chocolate icing. The "dark brown cake with cocoa in the batter" is a chocolate cake where I grew up in East Tennessee and also in Western North Carolina where i lived for many years.