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Coventry Godcakes, West Midlands

More British food legends

Many towns and cities throughout the country have traditional pastries and cakes associated with them, frequently linked to a fair or of course to the available local produce. Why Coventry should be the home of 'godcakes' is not known - perhaps the good burghers of the Warwickshire City were a godly bunch.
These triangular pastries (similar in appearance to jam puffs and apple puffs) are filled with mincemeat, not overmuch or the crunch of the puff pastry will be lost and its savour buried beneath the spicy sweetness of the currants and peel.
The three sides of the treat are said to represent the holy trinity, an idea reinforced by the three slashes in the top of the thing, though almost any traditional foodstuff with three ingredients/sides/decorations/parts is bound to be so linked by someone. The triangular shape is an easy one to make, fill and fold with the stuffing inside, so the form may be practical rather than, or as well as, spiritual.
In the case of Coventry godcakes, however, it's a reasonable assumption that the trinity idea is right, as the story behind the godcake is that it was given by godparents to their god-children, either at the start of the New Year or at that other time of symbolic renewal, Easter.
Legend has it that the wealthier the giver the bigger the cake, which was supposed to be handed over along with a blessing for the charge, though any child I have ever met would be focussed on the former not the latter.

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