National Fruitcake Day

Enjoy a slice of cake on #NationalFruitcakeDay. Source: Pixabay

27 December is National Fruitcake Day, and fruitcake lovers, both young and old, celebrate this day every year.

Traditionally, fruitcakes are made with chopped candied or dried fruit, nuts and spices and sometimes they are soaked in alcohol. They’ve been a holiday gift-giving tradition for many years.

The creator of the fruitcake is believed to have been a Roman, and one of the earliest known recipes comes from ancient Rome. This recipe lists pomegranate seeds, pine nuts and raisins mixed into barley mash. Records indicate that in the Middle Ages, honey, spices and preserved fruits were added.

Recipes for fruitcake vary from country to country, depending on the available ingredients and traditions.

During the 16th century, the sugar from the American Colonies, along with the discovery that high concentrations of sugar could preserve fruits, created an excess of candied fruit, resulting in fruitcakes becoming more affordable and popular.

Some fruitcake facts:

• Typically, American fruitcakes are rich in fruits and nuts.

• In America, mail-order fruitcake became available in 1913. Commercial fruitcakes are often sold, from catalogues, by charities as a fundraisers.

• In 1935, the expression ‘nutty as a fruitcake’ was coined, during the time Southern bakeries, Collin Street and Claxton, had access to cheap nuts.

• Most mass-produced fruitcakes in America are alcohol-free.

• Some traditional recipes include liqueurs or brandy and then complete the fruitcake by covering it with powdered sugar.

• Brandy-soaked cloth is sometimes used to store fruitcakes, as some people believe that they improve with age.

Celebrate National Fruitcake Day by enjoying some delicious fruitcake and use #NationalFruitcakeDay to post on social media.

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Adéle Bloem

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