NATIONAL BAKED ALASKA DAY
Ice cream and cake come together on February 1st in a celebration called National Baked Alaska Day.
An elaborate dessert that is also known as “Omelette Norvegienne,” Baked Alaska is made with hard ice cream on a base of sponge cake and covered in a shell of toasted meringue.
In the United States in 1867, an earnest debate erupted over the potential purchase of Alaska from Russia. Secretary of State William Seward agreed to a purchase price of $7 million, and Alaska became a United States territory in 1868. Those of the opinion that the purchase was a giant mistake referred to the purchase as “Seward’s Folly.”
Enter Charles Ranhofer, the chef at Delmonico’s Restaurant in New York City. He was notorious for naming new and renaming old dishes after famous people and events. Capitalizing on the heated controversy surrounding the purchase in the frozen north, Baked Alaska fit the bill. It was cold, nearly frozen, and quickly toasted in a hot oven before serving.
He served as the chef at Delmonico’s from 1862 to 1896. During his tenure, he also created Lobster Newburg, another famous dish honored with a national food holiday.
HOW TO OBSERVE NATIONAL BAKED ALASKA DAY
- Order Baked Alaska for dessert.
- Make a Baked Alaska at home.
- Invite friends to enjoy this delicious dessert with you.
- Host a Baked Alaska bake-off.
- Use #NationalBakedAlaskaDay to post on social media.
NATIONAL BAKED ALASKA DAY HISTORY
National Day Calendar continues researching this dessert holiday’s origins. However, we suspect we won’t find it anywhere near the Yukon.
Baked Alaska FAQ
Q. Can I make Baked Alaska at home?
A. Yes. As complex as Baked Alaska seems to be, it’s a fairly uncomplicated dessert. If you can bake a cake and make a meringue, you can make Baked Alaska. The key is to prep each element separately and to work quickly when putting them all together.
Q. Is Baked Alaska flambéed?
A. No. The meringue on Baked Alaska is toasted. However, a similar dessert called the Bomb Alaska is flambéed.