Summer Food: The Tastes of Summer: Strawberry Shortcake

Go north to New England or west across the Mississippi, and strawberry shortcake is a shortcut of a dessert, a biscuit sandwiching whipped cream and sweet berries. But in Philly, the classic shortcake is a more elaborate affair, with layers of spongy cake, light vanilla cream and strawberries, frosted smooth with more cream. This European-influenced version has been a mainstay of the Old Original Bookbinder’s menu since it was the old, original Bookbinder’s (125 Walnut Street; 215-925-7027). July is prime time for local berries, and the Bookbinder’s kitchen will turn out more than 30 cakes a week to meet customer cravings for the three pounds of fresh berries and four cups of whipped cream in every one.