Fruitcake has been around since ancient Roman times. You may know that fruitcake has roots in England, but that’s not where it originated. It has been around since ancient Roman times, where it was made of a mix of pine nuts, barley mash, pomegranate seeds, raisins, and honeyed wine.
At Room Temperature: This is my personal favorite way to store fruit cake.
When was the first fruitcake made?
Honey, spices, and preserved fruits were added during the Middle Ages. Crusaders and hunters were reported to have carried this type of cake to sustain themselves over long periods of time away from home. 1400s – The British began their love affair with fruitcake when dried fruits from the Mediterranean first arrived.
What is the oldest known fruit cake?
TECUMSEH, Michigan, United States–Julie Ruttinger, 56, who lives just outside Detroit, Michigan, is the proud keeper of a 141-year-old fruitcake; Julie is the great-great-granddaughter of Fidelia Ford, who baked the fruit cake in 1878; the 141 year-old cake sets the world record for the Oldest fruitcake, according to
Why do we eat fruitcake at Christmas?
Why is the fruitcake a traditional holiday staple? According to the New York Times, fruitcake dates back to a food enjoyed by ancient Romans called satura — a mix of barley, pomegranate seeds, nuts, and raisins held together with honey. Some speculate that this dish was invented as a way to preserve fruit.
Did fruitcake originate in Egypt?
Some historians believe that the ancient Egyptians would put an early version of the fruitcake in the tombs of loved ones. They believed they were providing food for the afterlife. Given the impressive shelf life of most fruitcakes, they may have been on to something.
When was Christmas cake invented?
Around the 16th century, people began to use richer ingredients so the oats were removed and flour and eggs were added. The pudding started to resemble the kind of fruitcake we’d recognise today. Spices that had started to be brought over from the east were incorporated into the cake to symbolise the three wise men.
Where did the Christmas cake originate?
Christmas cake is an English tradition that began as plum porridge. People ate the porridge on Christmas Eve, using it to line their stomachs after a day of fasting. Soon dried fruit, spices and honey were added to the porridge mixture, and eventually it turned into Christmas pudding.
Where are fruit cakes made?
Corsicana, Texas, nicknamed “Fruitcake, Texas,” was put on the map by Collin Street Bakery.
What is the oldest fruit in the world?
Figs – the world’s oldest fruits
Fig trees have been grown since ancient times, which is why figs are often referred to as the oldest fruits known to man.
How many years can you keep a fruit cake?
Freshly baked fruitcake will keep well for about 6 months in the fridge when properly stored; when refrigerating, cover with foil or plastic wrap or place in a plastic bag to prevent cake from drying out.
What is the oldest Christmas cake?
The Christmas cake, which was baked in December 1911, could be the country’s oldest after it was found in a closet in an old house in St Louis Park and given to a friend as a joke. The friend – Pierre Girard of Golden Valley, Minnesota – kept the cinnamon spice cake and celebrated its milestone last week.
Is it OK to freeze fruitcake?
In a typical freezer, fruitcake can usually be stored for at least six months. Similar to regular storage, you’ll want to wrap the fruitcake in plastic wrap, then wrap your cake in foil, and place your double-wrapped cake in an airtight container and in the freezer.
What is the healthiest cake to eat?
Healthiest and Unhealthiest Cakes
What country would you eat fruit cake around Christmas time?
The fruit cake is commonly known as a Christmas Cake in Canada and eaten during the Christmas season. Rarely is it seen during other times of the year. The Canadian fruit cake is similar in style to the UK version, as it is in most Commonwealth countries.
Who made the first ever cake?
What country did fruitcake originate in?
The fruitcake may be the butt of your re-gifting joke, but the treat’s origins date back to as early as Ancient Egypt. Today, this cake is more popular as a punchline than a dessert, but either The History of Fruitcake: Legendary Cake (and Christmas Re-Gift) – ManyEats
What is the origin of the fruit cake?
The Interesting History Of Fruitcake
- Brebbia is illuminated by the Sun of Zuasnabar.
- Photographs courtesy of Getty Images Fruitcake doesn’t exactly have the finest reputation in the culinary world.
- Despite the fact that the word ″cake″ appears in the title, this is not the same as the birthday cake you’re presumably expecting.
- Making use of dried fruits and a large number of nuts, fruitcake is normally on the drier side, with no sweet sugary icing or other ingredients to be discovered.
- Nonetheless, this is one food item that has a remarkable history—it has been there for far longer than you may expect it to be.
- Find out where fruitcake comes from and what it was like throughout history in this video.
- Con Keyes is a fictional character created by author Con Keyes.
Photographs courtesy of Getty Images 1 out of 12 Fruitcake has been present since the time of the ancient Romans.Although you may be aware that fruitcake has historical origins in England, this is not where it began.It has been around since the time of the ancient Romans, when it was composed of a mixture of pine nuts, barley mash, pomegranate seeds, raisins, and honeyed wine.Today, it is still created the same way.It was baked into a cake and given the name ″satura.″ As a snack on the battlefield, Roman troops carried acorns because they were light and could be stored for a long period of time without spoiling.
- The Hulton Archive is a collection of historical documents.
- Photographs courtesy of Getty Images 2 out of 12 It was once accompanied with meat.
- Fruitcake used to be a little different before it featured fruits and nuts, for example.
- Food provided during Shakespeare’s day consisted of meat, wine, sherry, fruit juices, sugar, and certain preserved fruits, among other things.
- After a period, however, the meat was removed from the menu and additional fruit was substituted in its stead.
- It became known as ″plum pudding,″ and it was essentially a cake made with plums.
- Tom Kelley’s Photographic Collection Photographs courtesy of Getty Images 3 out of 12 Fruitcake has been around since the Middle Ages, according to historical records.
- As the ages passed, the components in fruitcake evolved to reflect the changing times.
- Fruitcake, as we know it now, can be traced all the way back to the Middle Ages, where it was first created.
- Europeans discovered that sugar could be used to preserve fruits during the 16th century, when sugar became more affordable.
- They began by soaking fruits in sugar for many days, thus drying them, and then adding all of the sugar-soaked fruit to the fruitcake.
- Nuts were introduced about this period as well.
- jodiecoston Photographs courtesy of Getty Images 4 out of 12 It was declared illegal in the 18th century.
- In fact, all of that sugar resulted in a fruitcake that was a touch too delicious.
- Fruitcake (formerly known as plum cakes) was forbidden throughout continental Europe in the 18th century because it was considered to be ″sinfully rich.″ This did not last long, as fruitcake soon returned to its former glory as a staple of the British breakfast table.
- Kitipong Bhalatanya / EyeEm / Kitipong Bhalatanya / EyeEm Photographs courtesy of Getty Images 5 out of 12 People used to tuck it beneath their pillows back in the 1800s.
- Fruitcake used to be a part of some quite bizarre ceremonies back in the day.
- What’s the most bizarre?
- For unmarried wedding guests in England, it was usual for them to place a piece of fruitcake beneath their pillows at night so that they may dream about the person they would eventually marry.
- The link was made since fruitcake was typically the type of cake presented at weddings in the United Kingdom.
- Pool/Tim Graham Photographic Archive Photographs courtesy of Getty Images 6 out of 12 It has been served to members of the British royal family on special occasions.
- In fact, fruitcake is still considered a special occasion cake in England.
- Fruitcake became a special occasion cake for the British royals during the Victorian era, when the dessert was having a tremendous time in the limelight of fame.
When Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were married, it is said that she waited a year before eating a slice of her fruitcake as a sign of her self-control.And when Princess Diana and Prince Charles tied the knot, they served fruitcake as part of their wedding reception.During their own wedding ceremony, Kate Middleton and Prince William also offered fruitcake.Pool/Tim Graham Photographic Archive Photographs courtesy of Getty Images 7 out of 12 A group of colonists brought it to the United States.Fruitcake was introduced to America by British colonists during the years leading up to the Revolutionary War.It became particularly popular in areas where fresh fruit was scarce, as it did not need the use of fresh fruit in its preparation.
It was first sold at Collin Street Bakery in Corsicana, Texas, and then at the Claxton Bakery in Claxton, Georgia, where it became well-known.They began to include more nuts as a result of the low cost of nuts in certain places.CSA-Printstock Photographs courtesy of Getty Images 8 out of 12 In 1913, the first mail-order fruitcake was introduced to the market.It was in one of these bakeries, the Collin Street Bakery in Corsicana, Texas, that the concept of mail-order fruitcake supplied in tins was first conceived in 1913.
- The Collin Street Bakery is still one of the world’s leading fruitcake makers today.
- This is still a very popular method of purchasing and sending fruitcake, and the bakery that was instrumental in getting it all started delivers fruitcake all around the world.
- Instants Photographs courtesy of Getty Images 9 out of 12 It was once sold to the highest bidder on the moon.
- Fruitcake was the first person to travel to the moon, back in 1969.
- The astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins carried a pineapple fruitcake with them on the Apollo 11 space mission, but they never got around to eating it.
- In fact, you may still get a peek of the fruitcake if you look closely.
- On exhibit at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., is a replica of the aircraft.
- Michael Ochs Photographic Archives Photographs courtesy of Getty Images 10th out of 12 It is credited to Johnny Carson for turning it into a joke.
- In light of how widely popular fruitcake was for such a long period of time, it’s a little strange to think that it’s now the punchline to a lot of jokes.
- Many people believe that Johnny Carson, the late-night talk show presenter, was the first to promote this type of thinking.
- During an episode of The Tonight Show in the 1960s, he cracked a joke, saying, ″Fruitcake is the worst type of Christmas present.
- There is only one fruitcake in the entire globe, and people continue to deliver it to one another as long as they can.″ Carson made it a point to make fun of the merchandise every year during the holidays after that point.
- Brebbia is illuminated by the Sun of Zuasnabar.
- Photographs courtesy of Getty Images 11th out of 12 We’re not sure why we eat it over the holidays, though.
- As you can see, fruitcake was not originally intended to be served as a Christmas dessert.
- It was once consumed by Roman troops, and it is now offered as a wedding cake during the weddings of members of the British royal family.
- So, how did it come to be associated with the holiday season?
According to the Smithsonian Institution, the cause behind this is a mystery.Swiss Colony claims that the Christmas song ″We Wish You a Merry Christmas″ makes reference to fruitcake when it sings of ″figgy pudding,″ which is a kind of fruitcake.According to them, fruitcake was provided to poor English carolers throughout the Christmas season, which may explain why it became so popular during the holiday season.Westend61 Photographs courtesy of Getty Images 12 out of 12 Fruitcake is made in many different variations across the world.
- Fruitcake is defined as a dessert that contains dried fruit, nuts, and alcoholic beverage in addition to other ingredients.
- As a result, it is not unexpected that there are several variations of fruitcake found around the world.
- During the holidays in Germany, ″stollen″ is a fruitcake-like bread that is popularly offered as a dessert.
- Panettone is a traditional Italian dessert, while Black Cake, a rum-soaked dessert from Jamaica, is another.
The secret history of fruitcake
Photo by bongo vongo, licensed under a Creative Commons BY-SA 2.0 license Fruitcake! It appears every year around Christmas time. People give fruitcake as presents, they make jokes about it, and they occasionally indulge in it themselves. Fruitcake, on the other hand, is here to stay, whether you like it or not. What’s the backstory of this sturdily constructed seasonal dessert?
What’s in it?
- Photo by jefferyw with a CC BY 2.0 license.
- It’s more than just a cake with some fruit baked into it.
- Fruit and nuts for fruitcake must be dried or steeped in sugar before being used.
- All of stuff is piled into a massive cake that weighs a lot.
- Fruitcake retains its freshness for a lengthy period of time due to the sugar content.
- Some recipes ask for the inclusion of alcohol in the cake or the storage of the cake in a cloth that has been soaked in alcohol.
- Because alcohol kills bacteria, which is the source of food spoilage, fruitcakes may be stored for an extended period of time.
Some people may bake a fruitcake every year, with the intention of eating it the next year.There are also fruitcakes that are still edible even after being stored for 25 years in a refrigerator.Furthermore, one family has been preserving a fruitcake for more than 130 years!Because it is a family relic, no one is interested in eating it — and it has solidified into something like to a rock!
Fruitcake is historical
- But it’s not only the cake that has a lengthy shelf life; fruitcake has a rich history that dates back to ancient Roman times.
- Pomegranate seeds, pine nuts, and raisins were put into a cake prepared from barley mash in a recipe that was written down 2000 years ago.
- Fruitcakes flavored with honey, preserved fruit, and spices were popular throughout the Middle Ages and beyond.
- Fruitcake prepared with butter and sugar was briefly outlawed in Europe during the 18th century because it was seen to be far too rich and delicious, according to the authorities.
- Beginning in the nineteenth century, fruitcake became a customary wedding cake in the United Kingdom.
Fruitcake around the world
- Image courtesy of Whitney, licensed under CC BY 2.0.
- Fruitcake has a way of getting around!
- There are a plethora of variations available around the world.
- Fruitcake is known as stollen in Germany, and it is decorated with powdered sugar on top (as pictured above).
- Panforte, often known as pannetonne, is a traditional Italian dish.
- It is referred to as keks in Poland and Bulgaria.
- Fruitcakes in the Caribbean are cooked with a lot of rum – the fruit is allowed to marinate in the rum for months before baking — thus they are not a treat for children!
The bolo rei is a traditional Portuguese cake in which each piece contains a fava bean, and whomever receives the piece containing the bean is expected to purchase the cake the following year!Banh bo mut is a fruitcake that is traditionally served during the Lunar New Year celebrations in Vietnam.
Get ready to toss that fruitcake!
- Despite its long history and widespread appeal across the world, fruitcake isn’t everyone’s favorite Christmas dessert.
- These cakes may be rather substantial in weight.
- Perhaps this is because to the fact that fruitcakes last for such a long period of time that they are frequently forgotten about or re-gifted, resulting in their being left on shelves.
- National Fruitcake Day is celebrated on December 27, but a little more than a week later, on January 7, it is Fruitcake Toss Day.
- Several towns in Colorado took the task of getting rid of its unwanted fruitcake extremely seriously before the epidemic erupted.
- Everyone in Manitou Springs competed in a fruitcake-throwing event every year to see who could throw their fruitcakes the furthest and with the most precision.
- Catapults and slingshots were constructed, or the cakes were simply launched by hand.
Everyone participant was required to bring a donation to the local food bank in order to make up for all of the food that had been lost during the competition – anything but fruitcake!
Fruitcake History, Whats Cooking America
- Fruitcakes are special occasion and wedding cakes that have a high concentration of fresh fruit.
- To get effective outcomes, they must be handled and baked in a certain manner.
- The origins of the term ″fruitcake″ can only be traced back to the Middle Ages, though.
- A combination of the Latin fructus and French frui or frug resulted in the creation of the word frug.
- According to historical records, the first written mention of a fruitcake was made during the Roman era.
- Pomegranate seeds were incorporated in the recipe.
- Pine nuts and raisins were added to the barley mash to make it more flavorful.
During the Middle Ages, additional ingredients like as honey, spices, and preserved fruits were introduced.According to legend, crusaders and hunters used to carry this sort of cake with them in order to feed themselves when away from home for extended periods of time.When dried fruits from the Mediterranean first arrived in the United Kingdom in the 1400s, the British developed a taste for fruitcake.A ceremonial sort of fruitcake was prepared after the conclusion of the nut harvest in Europe, and it was stored and eaten the following year to celebrate the beginning of the next harvest, in hopes that it would bring them another prosperous crop.After the harvest, the nuts were combined and baked into a fruitcake, which was then stored until the next year.
- Fruitcakes from the previous year were consumed at that time in the belief that the symbolism of the fruitcakes would bring the blessing of another bountiful crop.
- When fruitcakes (also known as plum cakes) were forbidden throughout Continental Europe in the early 18th century, it was a big deal.
- These cakes were dubbed ″sinfully rich″ because of their high sugar content.
- By the end of the 18th century, there were rules in place that prohibited the consumption of plum cake.
- Fruitcake was immensely popular between the years 1837 and 1901.
- Fruitcake was an essential component of a Victorian ″Tea,″ which would not have been complete without it.
- After receiving a fruitcake for her birthday, Queen Victoria is supposed to have waited a year before eating it, believing it demonstrated restraint, moderation, and excellent taste on her part.
- Generally in England, it was customary for unmarried wedding guests to place a slice of the cake, which was traditionally a dark fruitcake, beneath their pillows at night so that they would dream about the person they would marry the following day.
- Recipes for Fruit Cakes: Dresden Stollen, Elsie’s Blue Ribbon Fruit Cakes, and more.
- Fruit Cake with a Royal Flair Fruitcake with Vanilla Wafers
Oldest fruitcake: 143-year-old fruitcake sets world record
- United States-based TECUMSEH, Michigan – The WORLD RECORD ACADEMY has recognized Julie Ruttinger, 56, of Detroit, Michigan, as the proud keeper of a 141-year-old fruitcake.
- Julie is the great-great-granddaughter of Fidelia Ford, who baked the fruitcake in 1878; according to the WORLD RECORD ACADEMY, the 141-year-old cake sets the world record for the Oldest fruitcake.
- Photo above this page: Julie Ruttinger, of Tecumseh, holds a 141-year-old fruitcake that was prepared by her great-great grandmother Fidelia Ford in 1878.
- The cake is a family relic that has been passed down through generations.
- Photograph courtesy of David Guralnick of The Detroit News In the words of Julie Ruttinger, the great-great-granddaughter of Fidelia Ford, the woman who cooked the cake in 1878, ″it’s a wonderful thing.″ ″It was a matter of tradition.
- It’s a family heirloom.″ Photo above this page: In the house of Dorothy Ford in Tecumseh, Michigan, on December 9, 2019, a fruitcake prepared by Fidelia Ford in 1878 is on display.
- Photo courtesy of David Guralnick/Detroit News, courtesy of The Associated Press and St.
George News.According to the Detroit News, Fidelia’s obituary, which is displayed on top of the cake, describes her as follows: ″She lived, not for herself, but for her family.″ ″There was no service too big if it was for the benefit of people around her.″ The cake was originally saved in order to commemorate Ford’s birthday.During the Christmas season, she began a practice of creating the cake and then allowing it to mature for a year before serving it.Ford died at the age of 65 before her 1878 cake could be consumed, and by the time the holidays arrived, the family had relegated Ford’s creation to the status of a legacy rather than a source of nourishment.The cake was in the possession of Ruttinger’s father, Morgan Ford, who happened to be Fidelia Ford’s great-grandson until his death in 2013.
- To keep it safe, he placed it in an antique glass dish on the top shelf of a china cabinet in his Tecumseh house — which is still the location of its original storage.
- He looked after it until the day he died, according to Ruttinger, who spoke with the Associated Press.
- ″We were aware that it meant a great deal to him.″ Photo above this page: In Tecumseh, Michigan, a 141-year-old fruitcake, which was prepared by Fidelia Ford and photographed in 1878, currently sits in the house of family member Dorothy Ford, who was born in Tecumseh.
- Photograph courtesy of David Guralnick of The Detroit News The fruitcake that Morgan Ford’s family has been making for 93 years has been shown at church and family events, and he has passed on stories about its origins to younger cousins.
- On ″The Tonight Show,″ in December 2003, he even demonstrated the cake by biting into it alongside the host and describing the flavor as ″thrashed wheat.″ Sue Durkee, another of his daughters, claimed that dad ″truly liked sharing the delight of the cake with everyone.″ ″It was something he was quite proud of.″
Related world records:
- The world’s oldest tub of lard has been broken by a 64-year-old tub of lard (HD Video) The WORLD RECORD ACADEMY is the largest institution in the world dedicated to certifying world records.
- World Record Academy provides the broadest coverage (based on local attorneys and experts such as CPAs, surveyors, and others) and the world’s largest database of world records, according to the organization.
- The WORLD RECORD ACADEMY has the tightest requirements for approving world records, and it is governed by these regulations.
- When it comes to setting world records, the WORLD RECORD ACADEMY is the first and only institution that needs polygraph exams, anti-doping testing, as well as the presence of authorized legal representatives (a lawyer, certified accountant, or surveyor depending on the record’s particular).
- For further information, please see:
People love to hate on fruitcake and yet we still eat it — here’s why it remains a holiday staple
- Fruitcake is a Christmas tradition, despite the fact that it is frequently the brunt of jokes.
- In ancient Rome, barley, pomegranate seeds, almonds, and raisins were mixed together and kept together with honey to make fruitcake
- today, it is a popular dessert in the United States.
- During the 18th and 19th centuries, it became increasingly popular as a meal for special occasions.
- People despise it, yet it is a long-standing custom.
Who Invented Fruitcake?
ARTS & CULTURE— Food
Have You Ever Wondered.
- Who was the inventor of fruitcake?
- What are the main components in a traditional fruitcake?
- What is candied fruit and how does it differ from fresh fruit?
- Calie was the inspiration for today’s Wonder of the Day.
- ″Can you tell me what fruitcake is?″ calie inquires.
- Thank you for joining us in our WONDERING, Calie!
- Every year, the Christmas season provides us with the opportunity to reminisce about our favorite traditions past.
- Many of these customs are centered on food in some way or another.
- The winter holidays, in particular, are frequently commemorated with the consumption of a thick, sweet dessert that some people adore and others despise.
- What exactly are we discussing?
Of course, there’s the fruitcake!Some people associate fruitcakes with warm kitchens and the scent of spices in the air, while others associate them with cold kitchens.Possibly fruitcake was one of Grandma’s specialties, and it was something you looked forward to each year.Other others think that fruitcakes are nothing more than tasteless blocks that are more suitable as doorstops than appetizing delicacies.Fruitcakes, in the eyes of these folks, are unwelcome presents that are more likely to have originated in a factory kitchen than to be a handcrafted speciality.
- Exactly what it sounds like, fruitcake is a cake baked with heaps of chopped candied or dried fruit, and it is delicious.
- Fruitcake is also commonly made with a large amount of nuts and spices.
- Some historians think that the ancient Egyptians interred a form of the fruitcake in the tombs of their loved ones, which was a precursor to the modern-day fruitcake.
- They were under the impression that they were supplying sustenance for the hereafter.
- Given the long shelf life of most fruitcakes, it’s possible that they were onto something with their strategy.
- But it wasn’t until the ancient Romans began to combine pomegranate seeds, pine nuts, and raisins with barley mash to create ring-shaped cakes that fruitcakes were widely available.
- Roman troops who journeyed abroad to faraway wars were particularly fond of these early fruitcakes since they were light and simple to transport while yet being tasty for an extended period of time.
- Fruitcakes have evolved throughout time to include a variety of additional ingredients such as honey, spices, and preserved fruits.
- Because of the widespread use of sugar in the 16th century, it was discovered that fruit could be preserved by soaking it in large quantities of sugar.
- This preserved fruit, also known as candied fruit, allowed people to enjoy fruit all year long in locations where it was previously unavailable.
- In the early days of the American colonies, candied fruit was imported in large numbers.
- Fruitcakes were the only thing that could be done with all of the candied fruit that had been left over.
- Fruitcakes that were piled with candied fruits and nuts were extremely heavy and dense in consistency.
- A traditional fruitcake would have had citrus peel, pineapples, plums, dates, pears, and cherries, among other things.
- In fact, several fruitcakes possessed a density that matched the density of mahogany wood!
- At the moment, the average fruitcake weighs around two pounds.
- Fruitcakes are indeed delectable, but their popularity has waned over the years, despite their deliciousness.
- They’re still a popular holiday ritual in many places, but you won’t find them on restaurant menus or shop shelves much once the holidays are over.
Wonder What’s Next?
We hope you do not find tomorrow’s Wonder of the Day to be too flimsy.
Try It Out
- Are you starting to feel hungry? Yes, we are! Recruit a friend or family member to assist you in participating in one of the following activities: If you want to create some wonderful fruitcake of your own, have a look at the recipes listed below and select one to try with a friend or family member. Check the list of ingredients before you begin, since you may need to make a fast trip to the shop before you can begin cooking. The following recipes are included: Fruit Cake Cookies, Easy Icebox Fruitcake, White Fruitcake.
- A field trip to the local food shop can be arranged with the help of an adult friend or family member who will accompany you. Fruitcake may be found in the aisles if you look hard enough. You may be in luck if your vacation is right around the corner. If you can’t find a fruitcake, have a look at the different types of cakes that are available. Do any of them have any fruit in them?
- What ingredients would you use in a fruitcake recipe if you had to create your own original recipe from scratch? Consider all of the fruits that you enjoy eating. Which of these pairs well with the others? Do you already consume any of them with a piece of cake? Prepare a list of fruits and other components that you would use to make a fruitcake, and then enlist the assistance of a friend or family member to assist you in attempting to construct your own original fruitcake creation
- (accessed on December 18th, 2018)
- (accessed on December 18th, 2018)
- (accessed on December 18th, 2018)
We’d like to thank aldon for his contributions to today’s Wonder subject by sending in questions! Continue to WONDER with us! What exactly are you puzzling over?
History of the Christmas Cake
- This week’s trademark was a fruity one, and the bakers were challenged to create delectable fruit cakes as a result.
- Among the many ideas that were presented were family recipes, historical cakes, and local bakes, but one of the most popular suggestions was the plain old Christmas cake.
- When, exactly, did fruitcake become a popular Christmas dessert?
- Christmas cake had its origins as plum porridge, which was intended to fill people’s tummies after a day of religious fasting, according to legend.
- Other fruits, as well as a splash of honey, were added to the plums, and the result was the classic Christmas pudding.
- Around the 16th century, people began to employ better ingredients, and the oats were removed, and flour and eggs were substituted in their place.
- The pudding began to take on the appearance of the type of fruitcake that we are familiar with today.
In order to represent the three wise men, spices that had begun to be brought across from the east were added into the cake’s composition.With addition, wealthier families could afford to encase their cakes in marzipan, giving them an appearance similar to the Christmas cake that we consume today.Nowadays, most Christmas cakes are baked in advance, with celebratory cooks ‘feeding’ their cakes with brandy, sherry, or whiskey until the big day comes around.Alternatively, you may speed up the process by cooking your fruit on the stovetop, like Prue and Amelia did.From the Great British Bake Off recipe website, you may try some of the bakers’ fruitcake recipes for yourself.
History of Christmas Cakes
- Christmas cake is an English custom that started out as plum porridge hundreds of years ago.
- People had the porridge on Christmas Eve, using it to fill their tummies after fasting for the previous 24 hours.
- It wasn’t long before dried fruit, spices, and honey were added to the porridge mixture, and the result was Christmas pudding.
- Oatmeal was eliminated from the original recipe in the 16th century, and butter, wheat flour, and eggs were substituted in its place.
- These elements contributed to the cohesiveness of the mixture, which culminated in the creation of a boiled plum cake.
- For Easter, the more affluent households who possessed ovens began baking fruit cakes with marzipan, an almond sugar paste, to give as gifts.
- They created a similar cake for Christmas, but this time using seasonal dried fruit and spices.
The spices symbolized the exotic eastern spices that the Wise Men had brought with them.This cake became known as ″Christmas cake″ after the holiday season.Christmas cakes can be created in a variety of ways, although the majority of them are variants on the classic fruitcake recipe.They can be light, dark, wet, dry, heavy, spongy, leavened, unleavened, and a variety of other characteristics.Their various variations include frosting, glazing, a little dusting of confectioner’s sugar, or just being left unfrosted and plain.
- The traditional Scottish Christmas cake, often known as the Whisky Dundee, is extremely famous among people all over the world.
- It’s a light, crumbly cake made with currants, raisins, cherries, and Scotch whiskey, among other ingredients.
- There are also more sorts of Christmas cakes, such as an apple crème cake and a mincemeat cake.
- Among the ingredients for the apple creme cake are apples and other fruits, raisins, eggs, cream cheese, and whipping cream.
- The mincemeat cake is created with classic mincemeat or vegetarian mincemeat, as well as other ingredients such as flour, eggs, and so on.
- It can also be served as a Christmas pudding if cooked before serving.
- All of the Christmas desserts are prepared in advance.
- Many people prepare them in November and store them upside down in an airtight container until the following year.
- Every week before Christmas, a tiny quantity of brandy, sherry, or whiskey is poured into small holes in the cake to create a festive atmosphere.
- This procedure is referred to as ″feeding″ the cake.
- When it comes to Christmas cake in Japan, it is a sponge cake that has been iced and decorated with strawberries, chocolates, or seasonal fruit.
- In the past, it was common for men and women over the age of 25 to refer to women as ″Christmas cake,″ implying that they were out of season because the cake was eaten after December 25th.
- The age has now been raised to 31, in honor of toshikoshi-soba, a noodle dish that is traditionally served on December 31st.
- Traditionally, Christmas cake in the Philippines is a yellow pound cake topped with almonds or the typical British fruitcake.
- Both cakes are soaked in brandy or rum, as well as a palm sugar syrup and water, before being baked.
- Typically, rosewater or orange flower water is used as an additive.
- The cakes have a lengthy shelf life, with most of them remaining fresh for several months.
- Occasionally, they are consumed the following Easter or Christmas season.
- A high-quality store-bought Christmas cake is an excellent alternative if you don’t have the time or patience to prepare your own.
- There are many different tastes and kinds to choose from.
Why two Southern towns are battling over the title ‘Fruitcake Capital of the World’
- It has been more than a century since fruitcake, that brick-like cake made of dried fruit and nuts and topped with more fruits and nuts, became a Christmas tradition in America.
- Whether you like fruitcake or despise it, you’ll almost certainly get one as a present or discover it at a Christmas event this year.
- In addition, while we’ve all seen our fair share of fruitcakes over the years, we weren’t aware that the vast majority of those cakes were likely sourced from only two little Southern towns: Claxton, Georgia, and Corsicana, Texas, respectively.
- Each cities’ fruitcakes have long held the top ranks on Amazon’s bestseller list, and both have devoted followings.
- It’s possible that if you Google ″Fruitcake Capital of the World,″ you’ll end up on the Wikipedia page for either of the two cities.
- So who should be the one to carry the title?
- Continue reading, and we’ll leave it up to you to decide.
- The roots of fruitcake may be traced back more than 2,000 years to ancient Rome, when it was first baked.
- According to Adweek, the original fruitcake was a barley-mash cake prepared with raisins, pine nuts, and pomegranates, among other ingredients.
- Over the course of 2,000 years, the cake has been served in various forms across Europe until finding its way to the United States in the late nineteenth century.
- As National Public Radio points out, Claxton, Georgia, was one of the first places in the United States to establish a commercial fruitcake bakery.
- Today, two bakeries, the Georgia Fruit Cake Company and the Claxton Bakery, manufacture more than four million pounds of fruitcake each year.
- Savino Tos, an Italian pastry chef, founded the Claxton Bakery in 1910, and the bakery hasn’t stopped producing the candied fruit and nut-filled cakes since.
- The fruitcake is available for purchase online, in shops across North America, and through QVC, among other outlets.
It presently has the best-selling fruitcake on Amazon, according to the company.Claxton is currently owned and run by Dale Parker, the son of Albert Parker, who worked alongside Tos at the bakery in the 1950s.When Tos retired, Albert Parker purchased the bakery, but the bakers continue to utilize the same recipe that Tos developed more than a century ago.″The reason why we have been successful in keeping our client base is the fact that our cakes are quite predictable and constant,″ Parker explained to Adweek.″ Weight-wise, they’re made up of 70% fruits and nuts.
- One of the key differences between Claxton and a cake you can purchase on a supermarket shelf is that the latter firm may just take a little piece of pound cake and sprinkle a few fruits and nuts on top of the former.
- That, in our opinion, does not constitute a real fruitcake.″ Recipe for Claxton’s ″normal″ fruitcake comprises California golden raisins and pineapple, as well as pecans from Georgia and almonds from Italy.
- The ingredients are combined with fake rum flavoring, lemon and orange peel and baked into a thick pound cake batter.
- The ″dark″ version replaces the golden raisins with black raisins, sweetens with molasses, and incorporates extra spices, resulting in a more darker look in comparison to the original.
- Regular fruitcake outsells dark fruitcake eight to one, according to the Claxton Bakery website, which also states that first-time consumers will likely choose regular over dark.
- The fruitcake-making process at Claxton’s is labor-intensive, requiring the company to turn out 375 pounds of batter at a time.
- Due to the fact that the batter is incredibly rich and the fruit is fragile, the mixing procedure takes time; no one wants a crushed candied fruitcake, after all!
- Baking begins in mid-August to guarantee that all of the essential cakes are ready for the holiday rush, and the firm remains active until the New Year’s holiday rush.
- ″On a typical baking day, 86,000 pounds of fruitcake batter will be poured into the pans,″ Parker said in an interview with Adweek.
- Each cake has a shelf life of six months, although it can be kept refrigerated or frozen to maintain its freshness for an extended period of time.
- At the adjacent Georgia Fruitcake Company, you won’t find any fruitcakes that have been infused with alcohol.
- Owner John Wombles infuses some of the fruitcakes with bourbon, resulting in cakes that are a shade darker than those made by Claxton’s.
- Womble told NPR that he is seeing a whole new generation of younger people come into his shop to purchase his cakes.
- (Perhaps it has something to do with the bourbon?) According to Womble, ″the younger individuals that we’ve picked up are often hikers, motorcyclists, and other outdoor enthusiasts who discovered that fruitcake can be taken with you and that it won’t go bad once it’s been opened.″ Furthermore, he told NPR that the ideal fruitcake should have the appearance of a stained glass window when it is held up to the light.
- In the same interview, Parker stated that a piece of any decent fruitcake should be able to easily be folded in half without breaking, according to Adweek magazine.
The other fruitcake capital of the world
- It was Collin Street Bakery that helped to place Corsicana, Texas, on the map as ″Fruitcake City of Texas.″ However, the recipe for Collin Street fruitcake is not of Italian origin; rather, it is a German creation.
- Founder Gus Weidmann traveled from Wiesbaden, Germany all the way across the country to Corsicana, where he established the bakery in 1896.
- Weidmann’s Original DeLuxe® fruitcake is circular in shape, in contrast to Claxton’s fruitcake, which is brick-shaped.
- The fruit and nut blend is also a little different this time around.
- Papayas are included in the fruitcake, along with pineapple, cherries, and golden raisins, according to the bakery.
- In addition to the fruitcakes, the pecans, which account for 27 percent of each cake, are imported from Texas and may be found in other popular desserts that the bakery sells.
- As early as the early twentieth century, John Ringling and his circus team visited Collin Street and fell in love with the fruitcake, which prompted them to order cakes for friends and family all across the United States and Europe.
Since then, the bakery has been in the mail-order business, and it is capable of shipping practically any quantity of fruitcake anywhere in the world.The Original DeLuxe® fruitcake is the second best-selling item on Amazon, behind only the original.″In small town of around 25,000 people, the bakery employs as many as 700 seasonal workers to keep up with the influx of holiday fruitcake orders.According to MySanAntonio.com, ″as many as 30,000 fruitcakes are cooked every day, with around one million created year.″ It was discovered in 2014 that Sandy Jenkins, the bakery’s corporate controller and accountant, along with his wife, had embezzled $16.6 million from the bakery and used the embezzled money to pay for vacation homes, luxury cars, and a lavish lifestyle.The bakery and town were thrust into the national spotlight as a result of the discovery.
- Jenkins was able to conceal the plot by acquiring the trust of the surrounding community.
- Public gestures of kindness, including gifts to his church as well as local art and educational initiatives, were heaped upon the community by him.
- According to the Star-Telegram, he even bought the entire bakery lunch for himself.
- NBC’s ″American Greed″ aired an episode about the incident during season 11.
- Jenkins was convicted and sentenced to 120 months in federal prison after a lengthy trial.
- Although the bakery continued to produce its famous fruitcake despite being embroiled in a scandal of this size, it learnt from the faults that allowed the theft to take place.
- Sandy was a friend and a valued associate, according to Hayden Crawford, a bakery partner and the company’s marketing director, who spoke to the Star-Telegraph.
- ″We were running a 117-year-old business in the same manner in which it had always been managed.
- It goes without saying that we’ve learnt our lesson and implemented the appropriate modifications to keep this from happening again in the future.″ ″However, when things started to go wrong, our suspicions fell on everyone and everyone except our own people,″ he said.
- ″It goes without saying that we are significantly better at manufacturing a high-quality fruitcake than we are at recognizing a thief.″
Prepping figs – everything you need to know about these ancient fruits
- Figs are one of the world’s oldest fruits, dating back thousands of years.
- For this reason, many people believe that figs are the oldest fruits known to man, as they have been produced since antiquity.
- They were a valuable source of nutrients and were used in a variety of recipes throughout the Mediterranean, which, along with Brazil and California, was one of the world’s largest agricultural zones.
- Nowadays, they are generally available for import, allowing us to enjoy them throughout the year.
- There’s more to purple than that.
- There are about 150 different types of fig, each with its own unique color and form.
- The ″Pastilière″ and ″Brown Turkey″ varieties can range in color from dark purple to black or lustrous brown, whilst the ″Long Yellows″ and ″LSU Gold″ varieties can be yellow or green in color, respectively.
Fruits with a fine white coating covering the skin, such as blackish violet or green fruits, are commonly found in supermarkets.Preparing figs: should they be peeled or not?For the purest enjoyment of figs, all you need is a knife, a spoon, and a bowl of freshly picked fruit.Gently squeezing figs will reveal whether or not they are fully ripe.You can tell it’s ready to eat when it yields slightly and has a delicious scent.
- Cut the fruit in half, like a kiwi, then scoop out the flesh with a slotted spoon.
- The small seeds, as well as the skin, are both edible.
- Just make sure you wash the fruit thoroughly and remove any white film that may have formed on it beforehand.
- Because figs are particularly sensitive, it is best to get them as soon as possible and consume them as soon as possible.
- Using figs in combination with other substances Dried figs have a much sweeter flavor than fresh figs and are ideal for sprinkling on top of cereal or porridge in the morning.
- They are also great in a variety of fruit salads, muffins, and cakes that are brightly colored.
- Figs, on the other hand, are a lovely addition to savory foods as well.
- To make a simple appetizer, melt goat’s cheese or mozzarella over slices of figs in the oven while they are still warm.
- Lamb, game, and fish, as well as aubergines and fennel, are frequently used in recipes that use fig.
- The world’s oldest fruit, the apricot, appears to have a couple of new tricks up its sleeve.
- Please share your fig-related experiences with us.
- Tempted to give figs a shot?
- Come to Vapiano to try our Pasta Curiosita, which changes daily!
FRUITCAKE – FRESHLY BAKED
- What is the shelf life of fruitcake? In order to get an accurate response, it is necessary to consider storage conditions. Store newly prepared fruitcake in a cool, dry place.
- Keep fruitcake wrapped in foil or plastic wrap or sealed in a plastic bag to extend its shelf life and prevent it from drying out.
- Freshly baked fruitcake will keep for approximately 1 month at normal room temperature if it is properly preserved.
- How long does fruitcake keep fresh in the refrigerator? When properly stored in the refrigerator, freshly made fruitcake will last for around 6 months. When storing the cake in the refrigerator, wrap it tightly in aluminum foil or plastic wrap or store it in a plastic bag to keep it from drying out.
- Is it possible to freeze fruitcake? Yes, you may freeze fruitcake if you wrap it securely in aluminum foil or plastic freezer wrap or place it in a heavy-duty freezer bag before freezing.
- In the freezer, how long does fruitcake keep its freshness? When properly stored, it will retain its finest quality for around 12 months, but will stay safe for an extended period of time beyond that.
- The freezer time indicated is for optimal quality only
- fruitcake that has been stored frozen at 0°F for an extended period of time will remain safe permanently.
- What is the best way to detect whether a fruitcake is rotten or spoiled? The most effective method is to smell and visually inspect the fruitcake: eliminate any that has an odd scent or appearance
- if mold emerges, destroy the fruitcake.
Sources: To learn more about the data sources that were utilized to compile food storage information, please visit this page.
Yule be sorry if you eat it: 100 year old Christmas cake celebrates milestone (and a 70 year old fruit cake is up for auction)
- For these baked products, which have been around for a combined 170-years, aging gracefully is a piece of cake.
- It is not common for individuals to be invited to 100th birthday celebrations, and when they do, they almost always BRING a cake.
- However, when the owner of an old spice cake realized that the cake had reached the milestone, he decided to host a celebration in honor of it.
- Christmas cake, which was prepared in December 1911 and given to a friend as a joke, was discovered in a cupboard in an old house in St Louis Park and might be the country’s oldest cake, according to the discovery.
- The following are the oldest places in America: This cake, which was created in December 1911, was celebrated with a celebration in Minnesota to commemorate its 100th birthday.
- The cinnamon spice cake was maintained by a friend, Pierre Girard of Golden Valley, Minnesota, who just celebrated the cake’s one-year anniversary.
- Celebrate: Pierre Girard of Minnesota desired to celebrate the cake with a gathering.
‘Normally, you host a birthday celebration and have everyone contribute a cake, but this party was solely for the cake,’ he explained to ABC.In addition to the fruit cake from 1941 in Ohio, which is not quite as ancient but is getting there, there will be a cake manufactured in the same year that will be auctioned off to the highest bidder.It was discovered stashed away in the basement of a property during a home estate sale, which was conducted by the Elite Estate Group.The cake came from Kroger’s supermarket store in Ohio and had been purchased there.A representative from the auction firm, Larry Chaney, said the cake was still in its original tin and had never been opened.
- It also still had its original label attached to it.
- In addition to the cake, an accompanying note from the undersigned dated May 20, 1971, stated: ‘This fruitcake is one of six that were purchased by the undersigned during Christmas Week of 1941.’ It has traveled thousands of miles and been subjected to a wide range of environmental conditions and shocks throughout the course of its 30-year existence.
- We are relocating and would like to return the cake to its original manufacturer, The Kroger Company.’ So far, the largest bid for the cake has been placed at $125.
- The proceeds are intended to be donated to a charitable organization.
- A lot of individuals who are interested in purchasing the 70-year-old cake have questioned as to whether it would be able to sample it before purchasing it; however, sampling will not be permitted prior to the sale.
- According to Chaney, ‘many have told us that they’d be willing to give it a shot.’ This is merely an amusing novelty,’ says the author.
- Fruity: This 70-year-old fruitcake from Cincinnati, Ohio, is presently up for sale, with the starting bid being $125.
- According to the letter that was attached to it, the cake had traveled thousands of miles and had been subjected to a wide range of weather conditions and shocks throughout its 30 years of existence.
- We are relocating and would like to return the cake to its original creators.
- ‘The Kroger Corporation’ ‘The cake is still in its original tin, has never been opened, and even has the original label on the box,’ said Larry Chaney, the owner of the auction firm, according to ABC.
- Meanwhile, while the fruit cake is being auctioned off, Mr Girard has taken up residence with the 100-year-old Christmas cake.
- After receiving it as a prank, the Star Tribune reported that the petrified two-layer, seven-inch cake included an inscription on the bottom that read: ″Xmas Cake Baked in Year 1911 by my Mother’s Brother Alex, who died on December 27, 1911.″ ‘The operation took place on Christmas Day.’
‘People tell us that they’d be willing to try it. It’s just a neat novelty’
- Spice cakes were traditionally soaked in brandy and rum during the Victorian Christmas season.
- Families would store the cake for another year, when another layer would be added, after they had finished nibbling on it.
- The cake, according to Mr Girard, has retained a slight scent of cinnamon and spice despite the fact that it is almost 100 years old.
- Despite the fact that the icing has mostly crumbled and the nuts at the top have become petrified, the text on the ornamental mints, which reads ‘Purity’ and ‘Extra English Mint,’ is still readable.
- The 66-year-old Mr Girard told ABC that he expects to need to find a permanent home for his collection at some time in the future.
- After 100 years, I’d hate to leave it for a family member and have to worry about it being thrown away, but I’m not sure if the Smithsonian Institution would be interested in it.’ The oldest surviving cake in the world is a four-tiered wedding cake that was prepared in Britain in 1898 and has survived to this day.
Fruitcake 101: A Concise Cultural History of This Loved and Loathed Loaf
- A anonymous sixty-something woman looks out her kitchen window and exclaims, ″Oh my, it’s fruitcake weather!″ This sets the stage for the events of Truman Capote’s 1956 short tale ″A Christmas Memory.″ To prepare for a traditional four-day baking marathon, she and her best buddy, Buddy (her live-in cousin who is seven years old), begin gathering ingredients, which includes anything from snatching fallen nuts from a neighbor’s pecan orchard to collecting a whole gallon of bootleg whiskey.
- ″That’s no way to squander fine whiskey,″ the bootlegger sarcastically observes when he learns how his spirits are going to be utilized.
- Even though fruitcakes are supposed to symbolize benevolence and festive happiness, they have become the running joke of the modern holiday season.
- ″There is only one fruitcake in the entire world, and people keep passing it around,″ said late-night comic Johnny Carson in one of his many parodies.
- It has evolved to denote anything eccentric or completely mad in English slang, and the town of Manitou Springs, Colorado holds an annual fruitcake throwing contest in which undesired loaves are hurled to the ground using medieval weapons such as catapults to send them flying.
- The expectation appears to be that we as a society are collectively despised by this solitary baked item.
- But, is fruitcake truly as horrible as everyone says it is?
That’s difficult to accept considering the fact that it has lasted so long in popular culture.As a sort of energy bar, the ancient Romans mixed together barley, pomegranate seeds, nuts, and raisins; however, the modern fruitcake can be traced back to the Middle Ages, when dried fruits became more widely available and fruited breads became more common in Western European cuisine as a result of these developments.However, variants on the fruitcake began to appear, such as: Italian panforte (literally, ″strong bread″), a dense loaf of sweet and spicy bread that dates back to the 13th century in Siena; Germany’s stollen, a tapered loaf coated with melted butter and powdered sugar that is more bread-like in consistency and has its own annual festival; and the Caribbean Islands’ black cake, a boozy descendant of Britain’s plum pudding that is baked for months, or even a year, in rum and served with During the 18th and 19th centuries, the habit of baking fruitcakes for special events such as weddings and holidays grew in popularity, and because the materials were expensive, it was considered a magnificent extravagance.However, as is the case with many traditions, it is unclear how this confection came to be connected solely with the holiday season.Another enigma is the exact moment when the fruitcake began to lose its luster.
- Possibly the last nail in the coffin was driven in the early twentieth century when mass-produced mail-order fruitcakes became accessible, resulting in the tragically famous picture of a dry, leaden cake coated with gaudy candied fruits and nuts that has endured ever since.
- However, given the fact that some of the firms who manufacture these items have been in business for decades, this isn’t a completely adequate solution.
- Surely they must be doing something right, don’t you think?
- Personally, I like the taste of home-cooked food.
- It’s that time of year again, and I adore remembering people via food, so I break out the old family dishes that have become synonymous with the Christmas season.
- A fruitcake made by my great-grandmother, Great Grandma Reamer, is one of them.
- Although I never saw her, I am familiar with this particular dish she made, and every year her well guarded, liquor-kissed mixture of dried fruits and little marshmallows is tossed together in my kitchen.
- And, for the first time this Christmas season, I attempted to make panforte, mostly because the Italian side of my family constantly complains about how difficult it is to obtain that specific fruitcake in the supermarkets.
- It will be interesting to see if mine passes the muster on Christmas morning.
- It’s possible that you’ll have to use the scientific method of trial and error before you find a fruitcake recipe that suits your tastes, but I challenge you to give it a shot.
- Considering all of the many foreign and regional versions available to try—and even a recipe championed by Good Eats chef Alton Brown—you could find yourself starting your own fruitcake tradition.
- And for those of you seeking for the recipe for the fruitcake that is only faintly described in ″A Christmas Memory,″ try Fruitcake by Truman Capote’s aunt Marie Rudisill, which is available on Amazon.com.
- She is arguably most known for her performances on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, when she went under the stage moniker ″The Fruitca