Cute or Gross? Couple Eats Same Piece of Wedding Cake Every Year for Five Decades
Our nutrition expert says she would not recommend it.
Food and the celebration of life’s milestones go together like, say, a couple that has been married for half a century. But it is arguably possible to take that connection a tad too far.
Take, for example, the case of Anne and David Cowburn, Pennsylvania teachers who have been married for 49 years … and counting. Every year on their wedding anniversary – July 18, if you’d like to send a gift (perhaps a fresh baked good?) – the Cowburns celebrate by eating a bite of their original wedding cake, baked in 1970, according to recent press reports.
The ancient slice of vanilla cake, which they have stored in their freezer, wrapped in plastic wrap and baggies, for well nigh half a century, originally measured about four by five inches, according to the New York Post, but by now — after years of the Cowburns cutting away slivers to "gently" feed each other — it has dwindled significantly in size, Today reports.
It has also dwindled significantly in flavor. David Cowburn has described the cake as currently tasting like "something between cardboard or lighter fluid," adding, "I don't remember when it tasted good." Anne noted that the cake flavor hung in there for about 10 years, albeit a bit "freezer burned" (having survived several house moves). Now, however, "it doesn’t really taste like anything, just kind of chemical-ly," she told Today.
The Cowburns say the cake is not moldy and has not ever made either one of them sick. They consider the tradition "fun" and "romantic."
It probably goes without saying that others consider it rather gross.
"Ewwww!" says Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, FAND, award-winning nutrition expert and Wall Street Journal best selling author of The Healthy Meal Prep Cookbook.
While Amidor says she is happy the Cowburns have been able to enjoy their cake and not get sick, she definitely would not recommend eating such dramatically outdated food.
"Although this couple was able to minimize the threat from pathogenic microorganisms, who is to say that someone else wouldn't?" she tells FN Dish. "The freezer is meant as a temporary storage unit for food, and microorganisms can still grow — just very slowly — on frozen foods especially when in there for many years."
Amidor says a better, tastier tradition for the Cowburns — and others — might be recreating their original wedding cake every year so they can enjoy something delicious "instead of dining on a chemical-tasting crumb."
In fact, for their 50th wedding anniversary, the couple is reportedly hoping to have the remaining original cake crumbs baked into a new cake by the original baker.
Now that will be something to celebrate.