Fruitcake can be considered the Rodney Dangerfield of desserts: It really gets no respect. If you happen to love fruitcake, you’re a rare breed, because just about everyone else hates this dense, nut-and-candied, fruit-laden mass. We bet there’s a lot you didn’t know about this misbegotten Christmas dessert.
Well, almost. If fortified with enough alcohol (or wrapped in booze-soaked linen) and stored in an airtight container, it can last for 25 years or more. Some say that the flavor improves over time as well.
It’s All About the Booze
Commercial fruitcakes don’t contain any alcohol, but if you soak yours in rum with a few dashes of bitters, you’ll find it far more palatable.[related]
There’s an Annual “Great Fruitcake Toss”
Nearly every year since 1995, the Great Fruitcake Toss has been held in Manitou Springs, Colorado, on the first Saturday in January. Whoever throws (or launches) a fruitcake the farthest, wins.
Johnny Carson Joked That Only 1 Fruitcake Exists
“The worst Christmas gift is fruitcake,” Carson quipped in 1985. “There is only one fruitcake in the entire world, and people keep sending it to each other.” Fruitcake had been the butt of jokes for years before 1985, but this really cemented its horrible reputation.
There Are Some Tasty Fruitcakes Out There
Not every fruitcake is a 10-pound brick; a fruitcake can even be made with pound cake as long as it contains some fruit. And even the 10-pound bricks can taste good if made with the proper ingredients, including brandy, figs, apricots, dates, and glace cherries.