LoveCakeLove is the theme of a crowd-sourced effort, initiated by Sri Lanka Tourism, to create hype for love cake, a uniquely Sri Lankan dish, around Valentine’s Day 2018.
“Gastro – or culinary tourism is a growing trend and Sri Lankan flavours and dishes are now on the global gastronomy map. The Tourism Strategic Plan 2017-2020 identifies culinary tourism as a target market segment. One strategic thread is to promote signature Sri Lankan dishes and traditional eats, such as the Sri Lankan hopper, kottu and love cake,” Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority Chairman Kavan Ratnayaka said, at an event to introduce the Love Cake initiative, at the Galle Face Hotel, Colombo last week.
“A tactical and practical approach is being taken this year with a love cake promotion for Valentine’s Day – #LoveCakeLove. Based on the interest this year, a larger-scale love cake festival is on the cards from 2019 onwards, which can put Sri Lanka on the international culinary calendar. Such events can help promote 365-day tourism in Sri Lanka,” Ratnayaka added.
In a collaborative effort, multiple hotel, retail, restaurant and boutique bakery operators as well as the media are joining in this celebration of love cake between 10 to 18 February. A common logo and hashtag #LoveCakeLove is being shared, while partners have the creative license to indulge with this favourite sweet treat.
As part of this initiative, during the period between 12 and 15 February, Galle Face Hotel in Colombo will serve love cake served as part of its High Tea menu. Anyone ordering tea or coffee in the hotel and says the words “I love cake”, will receive complimentary a piece of love cake.
In addition, the Galle Face Hotel will also offer a complimentary gift of love cake for anyone booking Valentine’s Dinner.
The Cinnamon Lakeside will serve love cake as part of its High Tea menu. Cinnamon Life has organised a love cake cutting with performers at opening night of Sound of Music show at Nelum Pokuna.
Jetwing Colombo 07 will give Love Cake as part of Valentine’s Day celebration packages while Shangri-La will present variations of love cake at pastry outlets.
At Resplendent Ceylon (Tea Trails, Cape Weligama, Yala Wild), Love Cake will be served as part of Afternoon Tea offering from 10 to 18 February. Love cake will also be served as arrival amenity from 12th to 16th and love cake making classes will also be held throughout the same week.
While Ministry of Crab will have unique Love cake recipe and dessert to be on the menu and Dilmah tea longue will present tea pairings and tea-inspired love cake.
Café Kumbuk will have a healthier version of love cake – Love Cake Bliss Balls – on sale from 10 to 14 February and Sugar group will offer a Love Cake cocktail and Love Cake ice cream as specials on the menu.
Sail Lanka charter will offer Love cakes to guests on the charter yacht and ODEL will display love cakes at Delight counter.
The origins of the Sri Lankan love cake can be traced back to the era of the Portuguese who dominated Sri Lanka’s coastal areas during the 16th and 17th centuries (1505-1658). Legend has it that the Portuguese, in the 1500s, brought with them a cake called ‘Bolo di Amor’ which translates to ‘coarse cakes of love’ and the cake was an instant hit. The locals created their own version of the cake marrying the European flavours of citrus and sweet with locally-sourced nuts, spices and essences of Asia. This so-called ‘love cake’ was said to be made by ladies to win the hearts of potential suitors. Another school of thought is this dense, honey-coloured cake got its name from the amount of love, richness and special ingredients incorporated in it.