Why Fruitcake Is The Best Thing Since Sliced Bread
Fruitcake is an unjustly maligned holiday treat, in my opinion. I love fruitcake!
Of course, you might say ‘you are what you eat‘ but that’s not very kind now is it?
Here are some reasons why fruitcake is awesome:
- Variety. Despite Johnny Carson’s joke that there is only one fruitcake in the world and people just keep passing it around, there are tons of fruitcakes available on the market. There are gluten free and organic fruitcakes available to those who are health conscious. There are sugar-free fruitcakes for those who are diabetic (don’t ask me how that works, but I have seen them advertised). There are inexpensive dollar store fruitcake slices and there are high end fruitcakes that are lovingly festooned with the finest fruits and nuts and soaked in the most decadent booze. There are fruitcakes for every taste and need!
- Fruitcake has a long and illustrious history. Fruitcakes have been found in ancient Egyptian tombs! Since they kept well and were tasty, the Roman legions carried them on long campaigns of conquest. In the Middle Ages, the fruitcake got an upgrade. Spices, honey and preserved fruit were added but the portability of the cake remained. This made it popular as a campaign staple among the Crusaders. In the colonial period, they added nuts and sugar to make it even more tasty. To top it off, the Victorians added a dash of alcohol to give it a little kick. Fruitcake has even been to space! A slice of the fruitcake that was prepared for the Apollo 11 mission is on display at the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum.
- Fruitcake can save your life! Due to the preservatives (alcohol) in the cake, it can be prepared months in advance and stored as a foodstuff for the bleak midwinter when the harvest is months in the future. In fact, proper fruitcake ages like a fine wine and must sit at least a month before being fully enjoyed. If properly perserved and stored in an airtight container, fruitcake can last up to 25 years! What’s more, because it is so dense, moist and heavy you can even use it as a weapon if the need arises. According to Harper’s Index, the average fruitcake is as dense as mahogany wood!
- Fruitcake has supernatural powers! If you are a woman, put a piece of fruitcake under your pillow after attending a wedding and you will dream about your future husband! If you’re a guy, you’ll just have a quick bit of breakfast in bed. Nut growers used to make a fruitcake at the end of a harvest and then save it until the end of the following harvest as a good luck charm. Fruitcake can be brought back from the dead! If your fruitcake has gone stale due to improper storage, you can resurrect this delectable treat by steaming it.
- Because it’s Christmas! Fruitcake is the gift that keeps on giving because you can either eat it or regift it. Personally, I’m in the eat it camp. I’m surely not the only one because in Berryville, Virginia at the Holy Cross Abbey, the monks sell 10,000 fruitcakes each year. Somebody must be eating them, right?
So, that’s the skinny on why fruitcake is so absolutely holiday fabulicious. If you’re one of those who is skeptical of this much denounced treat, I encourage you to give it a try this year. You don’t know what you’re missing!