There is a joke in America that there is only one fruit cake in
existence. It just keeps getting passed around every year.
Why do people make fun of fruit cake? I have to admit, I have
never tasted it. I asked my husband, and he said it tasted like
cake with medicine! I decided to do some research to find out
more about this famous (or infamous) food.
Fruit cake goes back a long way. It was made in ancient Rome. At
that time, it was mainly filled with raisins and nuts. In the
Middle Ages, preserved fruits, with lot of sugar, were added to the dough, as well as
honey and new spices.
Fruit cake became popular when it was discovered that sugar preserved
food. Everyone and every country started eating it, with their own unique
recipes. In America, our traditional fruit cakes contain candied fruit, currants
and raisins. We flavor it with the peel from oranges and other fruit,
molasses, and spices like nutmeg and ginger. Other countries tend to add
spirits like whiskey and rum.
If you wrap a fruit cake in a cloth soaked in rum, it is suppose to last for
I would not say that a fruit cake is frugal, as the ingredients are expensive.
The only way you could call it frugal is that it is so dense with ingredients
that it is generally served without a topping. The expression "Nutty as a fruit
cake" came as a result of the extreme amount of nuts in fruit cakes.
If you feel adventurous, google a recipe and give it a try, or pick it up at the
store. It may be delicious. Me....well, maybe next year...