I went to Concordia University to have some free Palestinian food to kick off Apartheid week. When I got there I quickly found out that the Palestinian group was giving out free lunch right next to a stall that was represented by the Jewish Hillel group, which was giving out free soup. Both stalls had their flags up, which were so close together that they almost touched. The situation turned eating soup or falafel into a choice rampant with political connotation. 

These cakes are a kind of distilled version of that event. They were made and served in Montreal, a city that has a long history of tension between the French and the English. In fact, more then a decade before this event took place, Quebec had two referendums to leave Canada. The second referendum was close, with  50.58% of the population voting not to separate. [1]  That being said, the decision to have OUI, YES, NON or NO cakes goes further then just a reflection on the referendum, which is no longer forefront on the average persons mind.

 

Mile end, where the event took place, has been named Canada's 'hipster capital' by the Ottawa Citizen.[2] New artists and young people have flocked to the neighbourhood from all over Canada, as per my experience in living in the neighbourhood. The tensions between the francophone and anglophones, whilst still present, are not all encompassing. That being said, many young anglophones have trouble finding work if they don't speak french, and many francophones are not all too pleased that the area is being so heavily resided in by english speakers. The relationship is more nuanced, and so is, therefore, the choice of cakes.

sources

1. "Québec Referendum (1995)". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved December 20,2014.

2. "Day Trip: A Day in Mile End, Canada's 'Hipster Capital (2014)'". The Ottawa Citizen. Retrieved September, 2017.