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Fruit Cake

 Fact, Fiction or Urban Legend?

by Nikki Willhite

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 years.

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...

About the Author: Nikki Willhite, mother of 3 and an interior design graduate, has been writing and publishing articles on the topic of frugal living for over a decade. Visit her at - where you will find hundreds of frugal living tips and articles. Frugal Happy Families- more than just money!



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