Imagining a Better Future by Re-imagining the Past

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Jazz Age and Baking

As 2020 approaches it seems that the Roaring Twenties are getting greater attention. The most recent was from a highly popular British television cooking competition series.

The Great British Baking Show (GBBS) is currently in its 10th season. GBBS, which is produced by Love Productions, began in the UK on BBC One and is now carried by Channel 4. In the US it was originally carried on PBS but is now exclusively on Netflix.

Episode 5 of the current season saw a tribute to the Jazz Age with the Roaring Twenties as a theme. Each dish created by the contestants had to have a tie-in with the 1920s. However, some media critics, and some viewers like myself, thought that they stretched the 1920s theme a little far. As the web site wrote,

The baking tests: shortcrust pastry; custard; decoration with a 1920s theme???

The two most Jazz Age-themed challenges were the “Signature” where the contestants show off their favorite recipes and the “Showstopper” where they’re tasked with making something spectacular. In the Signature challenge, the contestants were tasked with making custard pies, which was popular in the 1920s. One of the contestants went with a decidedly Lovecraftian theme with something that (vaguely) resembled Cthulhu. In the Showstopper, they were tasked with baking cakes based on prohibition cocktails, which was a reference to prohibition in the US during the 1920s.

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