ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka Christmas cake receives rave reviews as the best in the world by the lucky few who have met it, but its price has skyrocketed amid printing money and currency crises adding a bitter touch to a sweet treat.
âFor years, I firmly believed that I had tried every possible variation of the Christmas cake,â writes Queenashy, author on the Food52.com food website.
“Light, dark, wet, dry, British, Scottish, Italian, Serbianâ¦ That was until I met my Sri Lankan husband”
“I never thought that the richest, most decadent, most interesting and delicious Christmas cake of all would come from Sri Lanka.”
The cake appears fleetingly in December when Christian families across the country bake it. Each has their own slightly different recipe passed down from generation to generation.
Sri Lankan Christmas cake contains ingredients added over time to an original recipe from Europe.
Sultanas, raisins and currants, jostle with pumpkin jam from Sri Lanka and chow chow (don’t buy the Chinese variety, it’s not the same, future bakers are warned ..).
A pinch of Sri Lankan spices, like cardamom, cinnamon adds to its flavor. Soaked in wine or brandy and bee honey, the soft confectionery explodes in the mouth.
âSri Lankan Christmas cake is not your typical fruit cake,â writes Ramona of Kitchensimmer.com.
âYes, it does have fruits and nuts, but it has ingredients so much richer and more delicious that it is bursting with flavor. A small piece is all that is needed for any sweet tooth.
But the cost of making the world’s most interesting Christmas cake has accelerated to double the 4-5% inflation that Sri Lanka’s central bank promises to generate and the island’s frequently rebased indexes show it. sometimes.
In Sri Lankan supermarkets, a 400 gram Christmas cake that sold for 600/700 rupees two years ago hit 950/1000 this year as money printing skyrocketed in modern monetary theory and trade restrictions were intensifying.
Ingredient prices have skyrocketed amid multiple currency crises and cash injections with accelerating increases in recent years.
An analysis of 10 key ingredients of a Sri Lankan Christmas recipe shows costs increased at a compound annual growth rate of 8.19% between 2007 and 2013, where there were two currency crises in 2008 and 2011 / 12.
Prices were boosted by the rapid Fed-induced inflation in the Greenspan-Bernanke bubble (commonly referred to as the âfood crisisâ (mainstream media) or the âhousing bubbleâ (financial media).
Between 2013 and 2021, there were three successive currency crises (2015/16, 2018, 2020/2021 ongoing) as policy suddenly deteriorated with targeting the call rate with excess liquidity, dropping a political corridor which would have protected the anchoring during the sales of dollars. .
The price of cake ingredients increased even faster during this period, topping 9%.
Removing or adding individual ingredients doesn’t make much of a difference in the numbers.
Sri Lanka’s inflation includes inflation generated by the United States, as the currency is weakly pegged to the United States dollar. Any depreciation is added to total domestic inflation.
Sri Lanka has also worsened protectionism over the past decade or more, which can push prices up as well. (Colombo / Dec 25/2021)