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Simnel Cakes

Rich cakes eaten in Lancashire in Mid-Lent. Simnel is the German semmel, a manchet or roll; Danish and Norwegian simle; Swedish, simla. In Somersetshire a teacake is called a simlin. A simnel cake is a cake manchet, or rich semmel. The eating of these cakes in Mid-Lent is in commemoration of the banquet given by Joseph to his brethren, which forms the first lesson of Mid-Lent Sunday, and the feeding of five thousand, which forms the gospel of the day. (See Mid-Lent.)

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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