Fruitcake is a popular gift around the holidays that — let’s face it — most of us dread receiving. The dense cake is filled with sugar-soaked fruit that makes for an overly sweet, hard bite. The historic Christmas cake is actually edible for up to 25 years after it’s made. Shockingly, this doesn’t make it more appealing.
“Fruit cake is easily the most hated cake in the existence of baking,” according to Huffington Post.
While fruitcake has received a bad reputation over the years, it comes from a long line of holiday traditions. The American tradition of eating fruitcake around the holidays stemmed from the British tradition, when the dessert was sometimes called Christmas cake or plum cake. This fruitcake was incredibly popular in Victorian England, when it became a vital part of celebrating holidays and weddings. Both Princess Diana and Kate Middleton served fruitcakes at their weddings, making this cake a monarchy favorite.
While the American version is derived from the English, the popular cake actually dates back to Roman times. The Romans often served a cake called satura that was made up of pine nuts, barley mash, pomegranate seeds, raisins, and honeyed wine. Surprisingly, the recipe hasn’t improved much over the years.
If you’re feeling adventurous and in a mood to laugh this season, bring a fruitcake to the hostess of a holiday party as a gift. You may be surprised how good our Garam Masala Fruitcake recipe tastes.