Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Fruitcake Facts

There are so many things to enjoy
during the holidays-
so much to indulge in.
Our senses are cranked into over drive
with music, smells, lights and glitter
and especially great food.
Some foods we associate purely
with Christmas.

Such is the fruitcake.

My research claims that the Romans
were the first to concoct the tasty treat,
mixing pomegranate seeds, pine nuts
and barley mash into a round cake.
Soldiers carried chunks of it into battle
because it was easy to pack
and stayed well preserved.

Later, preserved fruit, spices, and honey
were added to the cakes.
Then colonists began loading them down
with sugar and nuts
which extended the self life even longer.
Nuts were abundant in the southern states,
so fruitcakes were full of them.
Thus came the saying, "nuttier than a fruitcake".

The Victorians loved to douse the cakes
with brandy and other liquors-
so much, in fact, that the fruitcake was
outlawed in the 18th century
because it was considered "sinfully rich".
Later, the law was repealed
because the English
loved having a slice with their
traditional "tea".

I think fruitcakes might be better
if they left out the candied fruit.
There's something about those bright,
shiny red and green cherries
and those neon yellow lemon chunks
that seem unappetizing.
Just a thick heavy spice cake full of nuts
and raisins and rum-
sounds really delicious.
Why did they have to go and ruin it?

Most people dislike fruitcake.
Forty seven percent of those that
receive one as a gift throw it away.
Eleven percent "re-gift" it.
And an unknown number use theirs
as a doorstop.

Stored in an airtight tin,
fruitcakes are edible for up to
26 years!

So, if you are feasting this holiday season
and over indulge at the buffet-
don't feel badly about passing up
granny's fruitcake.

It will still be here in 2034.