- The Plate
Reviving the tea cake of Juneteenth parties past
Like all holidays worth celebrating, the African-American emancipation day known as Juneteenth centers on food.
This year, Juneteenth celebrations will take place across the country, where there’s a growing a push to have Congress declare Juneteenth a national day of observance. (Learn about the nationwide movement to observe Juneteenth as a celebration of hope.)
But some Juneteenth cooks harbor a more modest goal: restoring tea cake to the holiday table.
“It was one of the basic pastries the slaves used,” says Etha Robinson, a 73-year-old retired Los Angeles science teacher and chairperson of the National Juneteenth Tea Cake Commission. “It was a simple cookie. The recipe was passed on by mouth.”
Red foods—watermelon, red velvet cake, and the cream-ish flavored soda, Big