When we were younger, we all seemed to shy away from this colorful and strange ‘dessert’ that our weird relatives would bring over. As we got older though, we figured out how delicious this seasonal treat really was!
You may now understand why people love fruitcake, but what else do you know about it?
The earliest records we have of something resembling the modern-day fruitcake are recipes of Roman satura. Made with nuts, barley, fruit, and honeyed wine, many historians believe this is where we get the name satire, because of the sweet and sour elements in both!
No, the dessert your aunt brought last Christmas wasn’t made in Roman times, but it does stay very well preserved! How well? Apparently, it can last for over 25 years if stored correctly! But it’s much too tasty to last that long.
Someone has claimed that they own a fruitcake that was once a gift to President George Washington. The esteemed general sent it back however, saying it was “unseemly for Presidents to accept gifts weighing more than 80 pounds, even though they were only eight inches in diameter.”
Fruitcake has been a staple to the royal diet for many generations of rulers. Prince Albert and Queen Victoria had it at almost every major event, and Kate Middleton and her beloved Prince William even had it at their wedding!
It is likely due to how expensive the ingredients were at one point in history. Fruit, nuts, and sugar were at one point really hard to get a hold of. But that may have also been what inspired its popularity…
Many sailors travelling between the Americas and the European mainland in the 1500’s found that they were subject to a terrible sickness called scurvy. They would develop ulcers and other oral hygiene problems from not getting enough vitamins on their travels.
They found a way around this by preserving fruits in sugar, which was plentiful in the colonies. But they didn’t want to just eat the sugary fruits all the time, they needed something to expound it in. Thus, baking it into cakes became the norm for them and their families both home and abroad.
If you’ve ever offered to help bring this treat from the kitchen to the table, you’ll have an understanding of just how much food is contained within the one cake.
According to Harper’s Index, the density of fruitcake is the same as hardwood mahogany! This year, try cutting a slice off yourself, it is really thick!