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Wheat-adverse baker Jules Shepard and activists with the celiac-advocacy group “1 in 133” constructed an 11-foot-2-inch tall, roughly 2,000-pound gluten-free cake, purportedly the world’s largest, in the lobby of the Embassy Suites at Mt. Vernon Square this week. The big baking stunt was an attempt to draw attention to the federal government’s four-year-long delay in creating new gluten-free food labeling guidelines. The enormous dessert at least earned the notice of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s deputy commissioner for foods, Michael R. Taylor, who reportedly dropped by to check out the monstrosity.
Organizers say more than 180 sheet cakes were made at a Whole Foods bakehouse in North Carolina and then shipped up to the District for this monumental feat of culinary engineering. The recipe, a greatly metastasized version of Shepard’s normal-sized gluten-free white cake, required some 547 pounds of gluten-free flour, 459 pounds of sugar, 270 pounds of eggs, and 700 pounds of frosting. In a show of support for folks with other allergies, the ginormous cake was also dairy-free, but apparently not entirely devoid of flavor. Says co-organizer John Forberger, “[it tastes] as good as it looks.” Leftovers were donated to a local food bank.
Photo courtesy of 1in133