Saturday, 3 September 2011

Goodbye to summer bugs

Had a lazy Saturday today after a really tiring week, and even had some sun, for a change.  And now we're saying goodbye to summer  I'm not ready to let it go, although I'm not sorry to see the end of summer bugs.

I was going to stop my post here, and put in this picture of cake bugs which I spotted in Nuremberg, Germany.  

But actually, I'll write a bit more about the cakes. They represent may-bugs, (though I photographed them in June.) In England, may bugs are called cockchafers, and their grubs play havoc with your lawn, as they eat the roots of the grass. Not an obvious reason to turn them into cakes, so I wondered if they have some cultural significance in Germany. Maybe some German reader can explain

I looked up "Maikäfer," though, and found a little rhyme which is very similar to our old rhyme of  "Ladybird, Ladybird fly away home." 

"Maikäfer flieg...

Dein Vater ist im Krieg

Deine Mutter ist in Pommerland

Pommerland ist abgebrannt

Maikäfer flieg!"

("Fly, cockchafer, your father is at war, your mother is in Pomerania which is burning to the ground.")

Anyway, I wish I'd bought one of the cakes and eaten it now. German cakes are definitely among the best in the world!  


  1. Hello Jenny:
    Oh, yes, the May Bugs!! Best seen and thought about as these rather fun German cakes rather than in reality creating havoc in an English lawn.

    Summer continues here with the most wonderful warm days close to 30C although much cooler than recently for which we are grateful.

  2. Well... I am a German reader, but I'm afraid I can't enlighten anyone regarding the cultural significance of the Maikäfer.
    When I was 8 years old, at school we were taught about the Maikäfer and how it deveolps from grubs (called Engerling in German) into the big shiny bugs. I remember how impressed I was to learn that said development takes FOUR years - which was half of my own lifetime back then and seemed an eternity.
    Much later, when I was 14, I consciously saw my first live, adult Maikäfer. There were hundreds of them on a tree, and they were considered a pest, reducing beautiful oaks to leafless stumps in a matter of a few days.
    Now I can't even remember when I last saw one; I guess they have become quite rare.

  3. Hi and thanks for visiting Saturdays child blog and leaving me a nice comment xx

  4. Jeez, I thought the English version of that rhyme was bad enough what with the ladybird losing all but one of her kids in one great conflagration.
    This German version has entire nation states razed to the ground...!

    Maybe the cakes are some sort of consolation...

  5. Those are so cute..unlike the real ones!

  6. I think this rhyme is from the thirty years' war. One of the many children's rhymes which are based on historical events.
    This one is a sort of roundel, which children sing, holding hands and skipping in a circle. I've done it myself many times.

    How come you have the rhyme so perfect? Is there a connection with Germany and German?

    And the next time you are in South Shropshire, specifically the South Shropshire Hills, could you let me know?

  7. I like these cakes, they are surely delicious as well. What a great idea, it's different!

  8. The rhyme is so sad, but the cake May Bugs are so darling.
    We are still in SUMMER, and Fall will not be here for another month.... can't wait ! After our very hot Summer, Fall is the most beautiful time of the year in Tucson.

    cheers, parsnip

  9. I wanna try German cakes. Those are cute cakes. :) Happy weekend! :)

  10. I had no idea about some bugs for cake!
    Maybe in Japanese there might be some japanese cakes which are out of imagination for many countries. Thsi world isn't narrow.

  11. Such a Germanic lullaby!

    Fine article, Jenny

    Aloha from Waikiki;

    Comfort Spiral

    > < } } ( ° >

  12. Jeez, that's a rather depressing rhyme. But then again, a lot of children's stories and rhymes are surprisingly gruesome.

  13. It is an interesting topic. I've never seen bug's style cakes.
    Good find!

  14. Thanks to everyone, here are some specific replies....
    @librarian, from what you say it sounds as if these are entirely destructive little beasts. maybe the best thing to do is eat them!
    @friko, I found the rhyme online. I did 2 years of German, and I'm about as good (or, more precisely, bad) at speaking it as you would expect. Yes, it would be lovely to meet and I will let you know if I come to Shropshire again. @angryparsnip, I would really appreciate some decent weather, it's pouring with rain and cold, here. @nick, I believe many nursery rhymes are actually political songs. In particular, many of them have the air of 18th century political songs.

  15. In the Middle East they eat real bugs - locusts.

  16. These German bug cakes look cute and delicious. Of course, a harmful insect is one thing, and a yummy bug cake is another. Here in Nara “Shika no fun”, chocolate covered peanuts, are sold. “Shika no fun” means “droppings of deer”. Do you lose your appetite?

    Have a nice week, Jenny.

  17. I enjoy it when you show interesting food treats! These look cute - wonder what they taste like?

  18. These edible bugs with wings remind me a little of mice with large ears. There is no doubting that these sweets are delicious and non-threatening to local lawns. :)

  19. Those are cute little cakes! What will the bakers think of next? Over here, we have cake pops, that look like little balls on a stick. I also like the photo of the Rowan tree below. Gorgeous colors!

  20. How lovely! It's the cutest thing I've seen today. Too bad we don't have these here.

  21. Yes, German cakes are certainly not bad - better than British ones (sorry, don't mean to offend anybody), but not half as good as French ones ;-) I can't help it... Have a great week xo

  22. Does no one else have to smother a snort of amused alarm at the English name for these bugs?! I find the "cock chafer" is rather like the elephant in the room.

    I was horrified to be introduced to June bugs (which appear toward the end of May) on a camping trip (horrifying enough in itself) in Atlantic Canada one year. Harmless but huge and hideous bumbling things. I much prefer the German chocolate variety you've shown.

  23. Even though I do not like bugs these ones are adorable! Thank you for visiting me the other day...your blog is lovely. xo

  24. is it a real cake ? i mean people eat it? i cannot get the bugs off my mind :(

  25. Those look so yummy! Aren't mayflies the ones that only live for 24 hours? They have 24 hours in which to be born, eat, find a mate, lay eggs and then die. Crazy stuff.

  26. Thanks for all the comments. @stardust, I saw chocolate raisins sold here as "rabbit poo" (no wonder they were selling them off cheap) @aka Penelope - what a pity the real bugs aren't edible, I agree...@louciao - yes, I have also wondered how they got their - er - strange name. @Muhammad Israr, sorry for giving you bugs on the brain! they certainly gave me a shock when I saw them all in the shop window.

  27. There's a subtle difference bewteen cake-bugs and bug-cakes!


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