Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Yo fruitcake!

What's the deal with fruitcake? Most people I know hate fruitcake. It's become a source of jokes at Christmas, but why? What's so horrible about it? It had been years since I tasted fruitcake. I think the last time I did, I was a little girl at one of my mom's hospital Christmas parties. I didn't like it. It was sticky, chunky and weird. That was a long time ago. Afterall, I'm older now and my tastes have changed. Cake made with nuts and candied fruits doesn't sound that bad. Could fruitcake really be that horrible? My curiosity got the best of me and I wanted to try it again.

I've seen little fruitcakes at Walmart. Scary. They're on the lowest shelf in the Christmas aisles. Tossed down so low that I'm sure every kid who comes by takes a poke at them. I didn't want one of those. And besides, I didn't want a whole fruitcake. What if I don't like it? There's a store here that sells individual slices of fruitcake, so I had my husband pick one up on his way home from work last night. Of course, the lady at the register had to say something. "Oh, I see someone likes fruitcake." Rest assured, he told her it wasn't him and how he hoped I didn't make him taste it. I had to try it again to see what the fuss was about. Was it really that bad? So, I'm sitting on the bed talking to Rick when I decide to try it. My cat goes bonkers. She wants what's in that little plastic container and she's not going to stop until I give her a bite. The crazy thing is -- she liked it! I looked at the cake. It certainly was colorful with red and green candied cherries. There are some other fruits I didn't recognize, but certainly nothing that scared me. I took a bite, I chewed, I swallowed, I was still alive. Hey, this stuff isn't that bad. It's actually kind of good, like a heavy nutbread with gooey, sticky things on top. I couldn't eat the entire piece, so I put the rest in the fridge for later. In my investigation, I learned 3 things about fruitcake --
  1. Fruitcake isn't as horrible as people say it is.
  2. Fruitcake is expensive. My single slice cost $7.49.
  3. My cat likes fruitcake -- who knew?
So why the fuss over fruitcake? Other than some people not liking it, why has it become a source of holiday ridicule? Fruitcake dates back to ancient Rome where it was made with pomegranate seeds, raisins and pine nuts. Later alcohol was used and the cakes were soaked in brandy, which preserved them. Did you know fruitcakes can take over a month to make? After baking, they're brushed with brandy once or twice a week. It's a long process to make a good one. The cake I tried last night didn't have alcohol, but I think the one I tried as a kid did. I was probably around 10 years old and it sounds like something my mom would let me do. No wonder I didn't like it. She nearly scared me off fruitcake for life. Johnny Carson joked that there was only one fruitcake in the world and it was constantly passed from family to family each Christmas. I'm sure that didn't help the poor fruitcake's reputation. Fruitcake is like eggnog -- you love it or hate it. There is no in between. I'd like to try a good brandy soaked fruitcake with a glass of spiced rum eggnog. I can honestly say I've finally turned into my mother.


  1. fruitcake is my absolute favourite cake.
    When I was pregnant with Gabriella we were buying one fruitcake a week.

  2. I think I'd like the ancient Roman version!
    My mom used to make fruitcakes every year. I thought they were pretty, but I've never liked the candied fruit.
    Cute kitty picture - I hope she's not going to eat that whole thing ;)

  3. $7.49 for a slice! Whoa! I tried fruitcake once and I didn't care for it. I'm not a fan of eggnog either. But let me at those Christmas cookies! :0)

  4. Sorry girl, it STILL doesn't look appealing to me and I haven't had it since I was 10 either! Ha ha! And that price! WOAH. I have a little more respect for it though, now that I know the effort put in to make one (minus Walmart).

    I do love the egg nog. Why don't I have egg nog in my fridge right now?!

  5. Hi Rena! I don't like fruitcake. I do like eggnog! I haven't had any yet this season. Hmm, maybe I should go to the store.

  6. I like cake and I like fruit, just can't eat a fruit cake though, just not appealing. Love eggnog, but I dont' like anything in it. It's great that you and Belle liked it!


  7. Holy Cow - for $7.49 for one slice I would want Daniel Craig to feed it to me! lol But I am not really a fan of fruit cake mainly because I don't like alcohol in food much -and I don't like candied fruit so it pretty much exempts me from eating fruit cake!

  8. Sorry chickie...but, I cannot endulge in something that looks like THAT! :) hahahaha

    Hope you're having a good week.

  9. LOL @ "Sticky, chunky, and weird"! I don't know Rena, it looks awfully sweet -- kind of sickening. I wonder how many calories in that slice!?

  10. ...and LOL that I forgot to sign my name after my comment!


  11. $7.49 a slice!?

    There better be gold in that thar cake.

    I think I've tried fruitcake once. It was 'meh'. I neither liked it, nor disliked it. It's not something I would seek out, though.

    And lol @ your cat going insane-o for it. Maybe there's catnip in it and no one's telling!


  12. I used to make homemade eggnog - every year - when I was a kid. We couldn't afford store bought - and it was always perfect...just the way I liked it 'cause I made it to my taste ;-)

    And I hated fruitcake until I had some GOOD fruitcake. It was only a few years ago too. The fruits weren't the sticky weird ones you usually see in typical fruitcake - it was REAL fruit and nuts - YUM!

  13. My mom made fruitcake when my dad was teaching. He brought the cakes to school; I don't know if the class ate them or what. You'd think not enough people would like them. Even as a kid I found all the candied fruit just too, too artificial and the whole thing too dense. I'm a lover of real fruit and just can't do the candied stuff. And please don't pass the eggnog, either. Cookies, fudge and caramels are another story.

  14. Not a fan here. It's something about the taste of some of those bits of candied fruit that make me gag.

  15. Not a Fruitcake lover here...My BIL loves the stuff and everyone always gets him one for the holidays..he usually ends up with about 5 of them and he's the only one who likes Sister says he is still eating on them into February...yuck!!! grin...

  16. When served fruitcake as a kid, I remember picking out all the candied fruit and then eating the cake part. I can't imagine anyone really liking the mysterious candied bits.

  17. I love fruitcake, maybe its made different over here... its popular at christmas time, they can be expensive, the tradditional Lions Christmas cake is about $15 (Lions are a community charity type group that sell christmas fruitcake all over the place at christmas time)
    you can get cheaper ones, or do what I do, eat mum's homemade ones!