You’d think after 20 years of visiting or living in America there’d be no more misunderstandings. You’ve worked them all out. Faucet = tap, elevator = lift and so on. But every now and then something catches me out and a small cultural misunderstanding takes place.
This time it was Coffee Cake.
I love coffee, particularly lattes and am completely unable to get through the day without having one. So much so, that I don’t even have to order at my local café, when I walk through the door they start making my large, non-fat, latte. And if I haven’t visited for a few days, the barista harasses me if he cycles by me on the boardwalk. No, that’s not embarrassing at all.
And yet, I hate coffee flavoured things. Really hate, not just a mild distaste, I loathe coffee flavoured cakes and chocolates.
After attending a school event last week, we were invited to meet other parents over coffee and Coffee Cake. I thought that was a strange choice. Not everyone likes coffee, so a cake made of this flavour was quite restricting. As we entered the hall, I could see the cake and everyone was taking a piece and announcing how delicious it was. I was surprised that so many people liked Coffee Cake.
I was offered a piece but declined. Danny however, did take a piece. That surprised me. Danny doesn’t even drink coffee, hates it, but he knew this was coffee cake. He then said ‘this is really good, you should have some.’ When I expressed surprise that he was enjoying something that was coffee flavoured, he looked at me and burst out laughing.
‘You think this has coffee in it, don’t you?’
Well, it was called Coffee Cake, what else was I supposed to think?
Now I know, Coffee Cake does not contain coffee. Coffee Cake is cake that goes with coffee.
Lorna Harris is a a British native living in Orange Country, California. She writes about her life in the US, her family, travels and what she misses about the UK (and why it’s better - sometimes) on her blog Califlorna.
Photo Credit: hoveringdog