I know I’m coming late to this discussion, and you’ve moved on to other things, but I must have my say. I do not know if red-velvet cake is a “southern” thing, but I do know that, done well, it is indescribably delicious. Why is it indescribably delicious? From my experience–and I have made a couple, literally “two,” in my time–it is a basic white cake with red food dye. It’s all in the icing, which is melted butter, sugar and chopped nuts. That’s it. Now, I know this is the fundamental recipe for many old-fashioned cakes, but there is something about the red meat and the buttery icing that is visually striking and adds a vital layer to its sensory appeal. My sister-in-law Mo makes great red-velvet cakes for my birthday.