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On Eid in Pakistan, cakes are a unifying staple 

Khurshid Ahmed

KARACHI: Eid celebrations in Pakistan are increasingly featuring flavorful cakes alongside traditional sweets, a trend that has developed over the years, with shopkeepers reporting strong sales of these cakes even amid high inflation, indicating their establishment as a festive staple.

Eid Al-Fitr marks the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan and is a time of joy, unity and reflection for the followers of Islam across the world. There is a long-held tradition among Muslims to celebrate the occasion by consuming different varieties of sweets.

In Pakistan, people prepare and share a variety of sweet dishes with family, friends and neighbors. The most popular one associated with the festival is sheer khurma, which blends together vermicelli, milk, sugar, dried fruits and nuts.

However, more recently, people have also started buying cakes, especially before visiting others.

“Cake sales are very high, it’s a running item,” Ahmed Ali, a salesman at Karachi’s United Bakery, told Arab News. “The sales significantly increase during Eid and we hardly get a moment to sit or stand still.”

Ali said many of his customers rush to buy cakes ahead of Eid since his outlet offers a wide variety of them.

“We have Coconut Lemon Layer Cake, which is very popular,” he continued. “We also offer Chocolate Fudge, Ferrero, Kit Kat and Cadbury cakes, all of which have high sales.”

The growing popularity of Eid cakes, particularly among children, is not merely a culinary trend but a reflection of evolving societal norms and cultural dynamics.

“Nowadays, children have become more modern,” Aftab Ahmed, a resident of Karachi’s Sultanabad, told Arab News at the Fresco Bakers. “They are shifting toward cakes and leaving behind [traditional] sweets.”

“I decided to buy these cakes in advances, keeping in mind my children’s preference,” he said, adding that cakes had still not completely replaced traditional sweets in Pakistan.

Muhammad Shabbir, a sales manager at Karachi’s famous Fresco Bakers, informed the demand for cakes significantly increases during Eid days.

“The demand doubles in comparison to regular days,” Shabbir said, adding the sales growth was somewhat subdued this time due to high inflation.

He said his customers preferred ice cakes to other verities of the confections during Eid.

“The demand for ice cakes surges during Eid Al-Fitr while the demand for other cakes remains normal,” he added.

Another cake buyer, Hina Rao, a housewife, said that her children also liked ice cakes as Eid treat.

“I like to buy cake from here because my children like pastries and ice-cakes,” she said while placing an order for Eid cakes at Bhashani Sweets at the Burns Road in Karachi. “So, on the occasion of Eid, I buy these cakes from here.”

The emergence of Eid cakes in Pakistan is not just about satisfying one’s passion for a sweet tooth but also about celebrating cultural diversity, fostering creativity and embracing the spirit of togetherness. Beyond the realm of personal celebrations, Eid cakes are also driving sales at local bakeries across Pakistan.

Courtesy: arabnews