This time of year, Christmas cookies abound, it’s true.
But in Pittsburgh, there is one time of year where cookies rule, anytime, anywhere — and that’s wedding time.
The National Post reported on a mouthwatering tradition of the so-called “cookie table” that is a time-honored tradition in the city, invoking both family and love together in the sweetest of ways.
According to the Post, the wedding cookie table originated in Southwestern Pennsylvania by Eastern European, Italian, and Greek immigrants who wished to bring a bit of their sweet-tasting heritage to the new land. To the financially-challenged but industrious immigrants, wedding cakes were a luxury that few could afford; thus the wedding cookie table was born.
Surprisingly, the tradition of the wedding cookie table in Pittsburgh is even more cherished than the wedding cake itself; whereas in many cities in the good ol’ US of A, wedding cakes or cupcakes are king, it’s the cookie that takes the cake at these local weddings. And the wedding cookie table isn’t the poor man’s table of immigrants anymore — it’s an elaborate sweet feast for the eyes, and mouth, to behold.
What’s even more intriguing about the cookie table is that although many local catering companies and bakers offer a wedding cookie table option in their bridal packages, the cookie table is traditionally supplied by family members, particularly aunts and grandmothers of both the bride and groom.
“With this table you’re saying thank you to all the people who came,” explained Gloria Samuel, one such kindly grandmother who was part of one grand baking extravaganza of over 6,000 cookies for her granddaughter’s wedding. “You’re saying, Take a little piece of us home with you…While you’re rolling out the dough, you’re thinking, I remember when she was just a baby …’ ”
I think it really is nice to have family involvement like that in a wedding — at our own wedding we had an aunt make our wedding cake and it meant so much to all of us to have her be a part of the wedding like that. It was just a nice touch, so I can see how the wedding cookie table tradition could be meaningful to a lot of people.
And personally, I am all about sweets, anytime, anywhere, and I say, why are we letting Pittsburgh keep this amazing tradition all to itself?
Bring the wedding cookie table to the rest of the country, my friends! Who’s with me?
We should totally have a meeting to get this tradition off the ground and running.
I’ll, ahem, bring the cookies.
Image via Shauna Younge Dessert Tables/Flickr