My mom made fruitcakes every year during Christmas season; the rum they were soaked in was all I could smell in our house for weeks and I would only eat the special cake my mom made for me that had no alcohol (I prefer my booze in a glass, thanks). My mother said her fruitcakes would never go bad because of all the alcohol (except for mine, of course) but the theory never got tested because they always got eaten by the people she gave them to. My mom is not old enough to have made the cake they just found in Antarctica, though:
A fruitcake thought to be 106 years old was recently uncovered in an extremely remote Antarctic hut.
The cake was almost “perfectly preserved” and apparently untouched when conservators from the Antarctic Heritage Trust spotted it on a shelf inside a Cape Adare hut, according to Stuff.co.nz.
The shelter was built in 1899 during a Norwegian expedition, but it’s thought that the fruitcake was brought to Cape Adare in 1911 by Robert Falcon Scott’s expedition party.
Lizzie Meek, the trust’s artifacts manager, told Newshub the delicacy still had remnants of Huntley and Palmers brand paper stuck to its side.
“It looks like new, which is quite fantastic,” Meeks said. “It smells a little bit of rancid butter, but it looks beautiful.”
Despite looking “edible,” the researchers were not permitted to taste the cake for ethical reasons.
Meeks added that while the fruitcake’s tin had nearly disintegrated, the cake itself was well preserved due to freezing conditions.
The fruity treat was among nearly 1,500 artifacts found in the Cape Adare huts. The conservators also discovered tools, clothing, sardines, “rather nice looking” jams and “badly deteriorated” meat and fish during their 14-month effort.
Meeks described the fruitcake finding a “quite a surprise.”
“Most people don’t carry a whole fruitcake to Antarctica and not eat it,” she said.
No word on the alcohol content of the cake, but I don’t want to eat it – and it isn’t for “ethical” reasons. Maybe if I had a bunch of alcohol in myself first, but that’s a whole other thing. The cake and other items found with it will be returned to their places of origin so someone else can “discover” them again in the future.
I kind of want to go clear the leftovers out of my fridge now, for posterity or something.
MJ Stevenson, AKA Zilla, is best known on the web as Zilla at MareZilla.com. She lives in a woodland shack near a creek, in one of those rural parts of New York State that nobody knows or cares about, with her family and a large pack of guardian companion animals.