This Egyptian cake dates from the reign of Pepi II (2251-2157 BCE) and is a perfect example of the age-old practice of preserving food in a vacuum. This cake comprises two wheat flatbreads filled with honey and milk cooked in two copper moulds that fit together perfectly. The moulds were pre-heated in the fire and placed on the damp dough, which led to the formation of air bubbles inside. As the cake cooled, these air bubbles escaped thus creating a vacuum in the mould. This ensured that the cake stuck to the metal and allowed it to be preserved to this day.
Well protected in its copper mould, this cake was a perfect offering to accompany and feed the dead during their journey to the afterlife. Bread is the symbol of renewed life and thus played an important role in funeral rites in Egypt at that time. This explains why this cake was discovered in 1913 in Meir in the tomb of Pepi’Onkh, an important member of the governing family.