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Thursday, August 20, 2009

What Do You Mean Pie? I Ordered Cake!

Welcome back to the Mississippi Library Commission's Information Theatre. Today's feature is Part Two of the fascinating Meebo epic, "Tell me all about women who jump out of cakes!"

Following up on the Queen Anne lead, we searched high and low for more details. About the closest that we were able to find were references to soltelties and entremets. These were involved dishes that incorporated mythical creatures, live animals, etc...

Cut forward several centuries in time to the late 1800's to visit our next mention of live things in food. It seems that an architect named Stanford White, along with various friends, held a now-notorious stag party which has since been dubbed the "Pie Girl Dinner." During the festivities, White and Co. arranged that a group of ladies burst from a large pie. (At least one source states that it was only one girl, a model named Susie Johnson, who jumped out of said pie.) In contrast to today's modern woman, Susie Johnson's life was ruined! (Just for jumping out of a pie--can you believe it?!)

(A sidenote: if you're not familiar with the absolutely fascinating life (and death) of Stanford White, check out his Wikipedia page.)

This seems to be the precursor to the now popular woman-in-a-cake routine. Does this completely answer your question, Meebo User?

Adamson, Melitta Weiss. Food in Medieval Times. Greenwood, 2004.

Craven, Wayne. Stanford White: Decorator in opulence and dealer in antiquities. Columbia University Press, 2005.

Gustaitis, Joseph. The Lady of the Tower. American History. June 1999, Vol. 34, Issue 2, p. 44.

Slater, David. The Fount of Inspiration. Winterthur Portfolio. Winter 2004, Vol. 39, Issue 44, p. 229-258.

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