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Sunday, February 26, 2006

Sweet and beautiful

I have never been a big fan of those supermarket sheet cakes. You know the ones - dry, crumbly cake covered with ten pounds of sugary frosting and decorated with artificially-colored flowers. Just thinking about it makes my teeth hurt. But growing up, I knew to expect those at every birthday, graduation party, and even at weddings.

During the two years I lived in Japan, cake took on an entirely new meaning. Sugar is not a staple of the Japanese diet like it is here, so cakes were only subtly sweetened. And Japanese cuisine focuses on quality over quantity, so the cakes were small, tastefully decorated, and made with the best ingredients.

Happily, I've realized that more and more cakes like this can be found in Chicago - and one of the best places is Sweet Thang, in Wicker Park. As the popularity of this bakery grows, their cakes seem to keep popping up all over the city - I was lucky enough to taste some at a recent bridal shower at Heat, a sushi restaurant in Old Town. Sweet Thang outsources cake to other restaurants and supermarkets as well... I can't wait to try one again! おいしかったね

Sweet Thang

1921 W. North Ave., Chicago


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