Hummingbird Bread


The Hummingbird Cake, with its delectable combination of banana and pineapple, is not just a delight for the taste buds but also holds a rich history that dates back to the late 1960s. Its tropical flavors hint at its roots: Jamaica.

Jamaica in the 1960s is believed to be where this cake was first baked, known then as the "doctor bird cake." This name is derived from Jamaica's national bird - the Red-billed Streamertail, a species of hummingbird. It's often referred to as the "doctor bird" since its habit of dipping its beak into flowers is reminiscent of the familiar prodding we experience during a doctor's examination.

The lore suggests that in an attempt to lure American tourists to their shores, the Jamaican tourist board dispersed press kits across the US. Amongst promotional materials, these kits contained a special recipe: one for their cherished Doctor Bird Cake, suitably modified for American kitchens.

Following this, the US saw the cake sprout in popularity, particularly in the South, albeit under a myriad of names such as Doctor Byrd Cake, Granny Cake, and quite aptly, Don't Last Cake (since it's usually gobbled up quickly!). The cake's inaugural appearance in print was thanks to Mrs. L.H. Wiggin of Greensboro, North Carolina, who shared the recipe in the 1978 edition of Southern Living Magazine. It was named the Hummingbird Cake in the magazine, and this dessert achieved a landmark status, becoming the most sought-after recipe in the magazine's archives.

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