You may not want to travel outside the United States this summer if your menu plans include cupcakes. According to the Food Museum On-Line Exhibit, “No other language has a word that means exactly the same as the English ‘cake.’” And, allow me to refine that sugar one bit sweeter: no other language has a word that means exactly the same as the American ‘cupcake.’
It turns out that even in England a ‘cupcake’ is not a ‘cupcake,’ but a ‘fairy cake’ (and they don’t taste the same). If you are bonne vivant in France, you will only find “les petits gateaux,” or, little cakes (which simply are not cupcakes). In Austria and Germany, welcomin the “torte” (much shorter and denser). Eastern Europe? The “baba” (no frosting) and the “kulich” (closer to fruitcake). Wrap around to Japan to find “kasutera” (sponge cake). Now, for Australia, I have it on top secret authority that a “lamington” is the thing (looks yummy, but it’s not a cupcake, either).
So unless someone can tell me otherwise, I’m issuing a cupcake travel advisory.