Parkin is said to be facing scrutiny in Leeds after a city council document allegedly marked the hundred-year-old Yorkshire delicacy to contain sugar – which immediately revealed the cake’s slave trade origins.
The gingerbread cake, which dates back to the 18th century, was marked along with other local favorites, including Yorkshire Tea, over their potentially problematic ingredients, Telegrh reported, citing a city council document.
“Historically, some of the ingredients used to make these ‘local’ products were obtained through the triangular slave trade (for example, sugar),” the conspicuous internal report observed. To be fair, 18th-century parkin probably used sugar imported from Britain’s sugar plantations in the Caribbean.
Leeds City Council reportedly hopes to dig into Parkin’s sweet but colonial origins as part of the activity “Compared to Black Lives Matter.” The proposed anti-racist sleuthing aims to expose “How local products like Yorkshire Parkin and Yorkshire tea actually depend on global trade.” Eventually, the council’s findings could be used to create teaching materials for elementary school students in the city, Telegrh said.
The council’s planned curriculum changes will highlight how, while Yorkshire delicacies set the county “on them,” some ingredients for these items “Would have been drawn from the whole empire and would have involved the work of slaves as well as the exploitation of resources and communities around the world.” The document stressed that its critique of parkin reflects one “Contemporary perspective” on the cake and its sugary cohorts.
The report is part of a study launched by the Labor-controlled council seeking to identify “Examples of how racism continues to prevail in everyday life.” It is possible that city leaders may have aimed for cake after noticing that problematic statues were missing in the city ripe for removal. Unlike in cities like Bristol – where a statue of slave trader Edward Colston was toppled – Leeds is without memorials honoring individuals associated with the slave trade, the report concluded. However, “Themes of empire and colonialism are still prominent within the city’s heritage” and much can be done to promote greater “Diversity” in the municipality.
The BLM-inspired culinary research could mark a turning point in the park’s history. As Telegrh noted, the origin of the cake is much in dispute, with Lancashire also claiming ownership of the treatment. In particular, the county has not yet launched its own probe into the cake’s allegedly racist past.
Do you like this story? Share it with a friend!