By most accounts, the fruit cake was first baked by ancient Romans and Egyptians. The heavy cake is full of luxurious ingredients such as dried fruit, nuts and liqueur. In fact, Egyptians thought so much about fruitcake that they put them in the tombs with their loved ones because they thought the fruitcake would survive the long journey to the afterlife.
If you either love to eat, bake and give away fruitcakes you should know they need to be made well in advance of the time they will be eaten. In fact, fruitcakes need to be stored for at least one month after they’re cooked – they’re even better if they are stored for anywhere up to four months. While the cakes are resting they need to be brushed liberally once a week with whatever type of liquor was used in the baking process. It’s said that no one can bake a fruitcake incorrectly as the recipe is very forgiving when it comes to substitution of one type of fruit or nut for another. You can even use fruit juice on your fruitcake if you don’t want to use brandy or some other liquor.
Here are some fun fruitcake facts:
- It’s said that fruitcakes get better with age and the fact is, as long as there’s no mold on it, you can eat it. If it’s dried out, simply soak it in alcohol to refresh it.
- Fruitcakes were the wedding cake of choice in England – we wonder if the new royal couple will serve fruitcake at their upcoming nuptials. Even if they don’t, the tradition is for female wedding guests to take a piece home and put it under their pillow so they’d dream of the man they would eventually marry.
- People joke about using fruitcakes as doorstops or paperweights but in Colorado there is a Great Fruitcake Toss where people see how far they can throw them.
- Thirty-eight percent of people who receive a fruitcake say they re-gift it; 13% do use it as a doorstop and 9% simply throw them away and 28% said they ate them.
- The fruitcake, also known as a plum cake was outlawed in Europe in the 18th century because it was sinfully rich.
- From the mid 1800s to the turn of the century, fruitcake was a staple at high tea in England.
- Fruitcake is one of the most popular items being sent to the soldiers; close to 3,000 pounds of fruitcake have been mailed overseas since 2006.
So now the question of the hour is… Are you a fan of the fruitcake?