Researchers Find 106-Year-Old Fruitcake, and It Still Looks Edible
Conservators with the Antarctic Heritage Trust have discovered a 100-year-old fruitcake in “excellent condition.” The cake, made by Huntley and Palmers, was found off the coast of Antarctica in Cape Adare, and is still wrapped in paper and encased in the remains of a tin-plated iron-alloy tin. Researchers believe it to be from around 1910 to 1913. Although the tin is in poor condition, the Trust says that the cake itself looks and smells almost edible.
“With just two weeks to go on the Cape Adare artefacts, finding such a perfectly preserved fruitcake in amongst the last handful of unidentified and severely corroded tins was quite a surprise,” artifacts program manager Lizzie Meek said in a statement. “It’s an ideal high-energy food for Antarctic conditions, and is still a favorite item on modern trips to the Ice.”
The fruitcake is among almost 1,500 other conserved artifacts found in Cape Adare during a large project that concluded in July. The trust is now moving to preserve buildings in the area (the first buildings ever built in Antarctica, and the only examples left of humanity’s first building on any continent).
No one will be eating the fruitcake anytime soon, though. The trust’s permit grants that all items must be returned to the site following conservation. This will happen once each building has been restored. If you want to make your own fresh version of this surprising discovery, you should check out the 9 fruitcake recipes that people will actually want to eat.