Fun Fact: A 106-year-old fruitcake discovered in 2017 by the Antarctic Heritage Trust was described as in "excellent condition" and "almost" edible.
The fruit cake or fruit bread is a cake composed of candied or dried fruits, nuts, and spices, often soaked in liquor. Due to their rich nature, they are typically served at Christmas dinners and weddings without any added condiments. The earliest known fruitcake recipe was discovered in ancient Rome, and it contained pomegranate seeds, pine nuts, and raisins mixed into barley mash.
Fruit cake recipes vary from country to country, depending on the availability of ingredients. In the UK, the fruitcake can vary from incredibly light to rich and moist. Traditionally, the cake is covered in marzipan and then in white royal icing or fondant icing and decorated with berries or holly leaves. In certain parts of the UK, it is served with cheese. In the Bahamas, the cake and its ingredients are doused in rum. Italian fruitcakes include the Panforte, Certosino, Gubana, and Panettone.
At times, they are also made with layers of sponge cake, sweet custard or whipped cream, gelatin, and various fresh fruits, including mangoes, pineapples, cherries, and strawberries. They need not be rounded, either. There are loaf-shaped cakes, often powdered with icing sugar and made with yeast, butter, water, and flour, with citrus zest, candied citrus peel, raisins, and almonds. Traditional fruitcake recipes are saturated with liquors which help preserve the cake for an extended period.
If you’re a fan of this sweet treat, this quiz is for you!
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