When is a cake not just a cake?

In Japan, everything has to be wrapped just so.  Recently I bought a small cake – a castera – vanilla/egg cake of Portuguese descent.  It was a gift for a friend.    My friend thought it was a wonderful present and so delightfully wrapped.  So first she unwrapped the outer paper.  Then she undid the inner plastic.  Then she opened the box.  Then she took the paper off the top and bottom of the cake itself.  Then, and only then, was she ready to eat it.  I continue to find it rather ironic that a country which has trouble with trash disposal has such a penchant for wrapping.  All of that paper, plastic and cardboard – a colossal waste.  That is just one example of how almost everything is done in Japan.  Wrapping – it’s what the Japanese live for.

The layers of castera wrapping!