Friday, October 22, 2010
Friends Don't Give Friends Fruitcake
This past week I worked on lots of new Christmas stencils for signs. A few that I did were about the dreaded or beloved fruitcake....all depends on which side of the cake you are on.
Seems like many people have a love/hate relationship with the seasonal gastronomic delight. So I thought in spirit of the season I would do a little background and share just how the fruitcake came into being.
Fruitcakes date back to Ancient Roman times. The earliest known recipes were made with pomegranate seeds, pine nuts, and raisins that were mixed into a barley mash. As fruitcakes evolved so did the ingredients due to availability and religious restrictions. Butter and milk were "allowed" by the Pope in 1490 in the German version called stollen. In the 16th century it was discovered that a high sugar concentration acted as a natural preservative for the candied fruits used within the cakes themselves thus making them not only more affordable and popular.
Traditionally fruitcakes were made from fruit and nuts and soaked in alcohol. Alcohol acts as a preservative. In 2003, Jay Leno actually sampled a fruitcake that was baked in 1878. Hmmmm...wonder how it really tasted?
Fruitcakes have been the butt of many jokes. Johnny Carson would quip that there was only one fruitcake and it would be passed from family to family. In Colorado, there is a fruitcake toss held the first Saturday in January. The record for the longest toss stands at 1,420 feet.
I don't think I'll ever look the same way at another fruitcake. Not only are they suppose to be delicious, they are also aerodynamically shaped. As always you can find these and many other signs in my etsy shoppe.
If anyone has any delicious fruitcake recipes to share, please do so, as I'd love to try making one and getting the family to eat it.