Hundred-year-old fruitcake found in Antarctica is in "excellent condition"

There is no cannibalism in the RN. And when I say none, I mean there is a certain amount.


We had a family tradition for years of someone every Christmas getting the same fruitcake as a gag gift from my parents. Wrapped in different sized boxes so you couldn’t tell, of course.

Us, friends then grandkids. The damn thing was more rot proof than a Twinkie.


My only personal encounter with fruitcake was back when I worked in the kitchen at a golf club and we were hosting a wedding. The bride’s friend was a baker or something so she made the cake for the reception. It was a full-sized, multi-tiered fruitcake and it weighed a ton. When it came time for the kitchen to cut it up for serving to the guests we were foiled by a cement-like layer of icing that resisted all attempts to pierce it. The chef had to resort to hammering on a French knife with a meat tenderizer to break through. We eventually managed to pry the slab of rock-hard icing off and just served chunks of the fruitcake interior. Most of the dishes returned to the dishwashing pit with uneaten cake and it was decided not to risk damage to the garbage disposal or pipes so all the cake went into the trash. It took two dishwashers to haul that barrel to the dumpster. Such a waste.

So yeah, a 100-year-old fruitcake that looks as good as new seems about right.


Now that’s freakin’ scary.


Food that doesn’t decay is not remotely ‘okay,’ in my book.

If it’s not good enough for microbes and bacteria to consume, then is sure as hell isn’t good enough to go into my body.

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There are so many excellent tasting foods in the world that require less than 1% of the effort needed for your fruitcake, that I wonder why anyone would bother.

Yeah I ended up editing a couple of times, though not aiming for stealth, honest. I’m not sure if it’s possible to see the edit history.

I generally like foods - just about everything if it’s harvested at the right time and prepared well can be great. Personally I’m not fine with straight up avoiding foods if the problem is that they’re so often prepared in a way that they fail to live up to their potential greatness.

There is foodish greatness I could be experiencing and am denied. My approach to that is, if I have the time and resources, I’ll learn to prepare the food myself, so I can get access to that greatness - I really don’t like the idea that I could be missing out on, per your example, really good beets or meatloaf (I’ve only had meatloaf once - I made it and it turned out pretty nice. I have no idea how it compares to a ‘typical’ meatloaf though).

I’ll admit I’ve never been a fan of liver though, and I’m not trying to learn how to prepare that one myself.

(edit: )

It’s not really that effortful though. The steps to making the cake are barely any more complicated than any other cake recipe.

Using good ingredients is the apparently rare part. The reason a lot of fruitcakes are bad is that the folks making them bought crappy ingredients - which are exactly as much work to buy as good ones.

Pouring the rum on the cake is a lot of repeated steps, but it’s not that much work really. Lots of people pour ounces three or four times as often every day, and they even add extra steps like getting ice cubes out of the freezer and filling the ice cube tray and pouring mix over top - and they don’t even consider it “work”.


What a weird concoction. In my experience there’s “cake with fruit” (a multi-tier or tall frosted cake that’s fluffy and has some bits of fruit for flavor, most likely in the icing or between layers) and then there’s fruitcake (a dense, heavy, buttery thing that’s like 75% fruit/nuts with just enough very ■■■■■ cake to hold it together). The latter doesn’t need icing except for maybe a drizzle or the marzipan that @dragonfrog describes. A multi-tier cake of heavy fruitcake with awful hard icing you have to chip through is some truly strange baking.


For you and the admin it is; not so much for everyone else.

And I was just teasing you, because I could see the edit happening as I was replying; I wasn’t implying that you were commenting in bad faith.

My taste buds are totally ‘okay’ with missing out on any of the aforementioned foods.


I’m all for trying new foods that I’ve never experienced before; but I know all too well what I don’t like, and I’ll never feel bad about not eating anything that I dislike.

Life is too short.

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When I was a kid, I was often served beets that tasted like metallic dirt; soft, squishy, sulphuric frozen brussels sprouts… I decided I would hate all of those foods forever.

Happily I was able to experience sweet, delicate fresh beets and richly caramelized roasted fresh brussels sprouts as a grownup and realized how many foods I was taught to hate thanks to badly prepared canned & frozen food as a kid :slight_smile:


Maybe someone got rid of this one where they thought it would be never found again. Until now. Jerks.


True, but we may now know the real reason why Oates crawled out of the tent.


Oddly enough, I never was; beets and tofu are the two items on that list which my Gram and my Mom did not try to force-feed me when I was growing up - and I came to hate them all on my own as an adult.

Beets (which my own kid loves) have a bitter aftertaste that upsets the lymph nodes located behind my mandible.

Tofu is simply a matter of texture; no matter how it’s prepared, it always feels like a moldy sponge in my mouth.

That’s how I feel about spinach; for most of my life, I thought I hated the stuff.

After moving to CA and experiencing fresh leaves of it in a delicious salad, I came to realize it’s actually the abomination which is canned spinach that I detest.

But that’s a rare example.

I believe that any bias formed during childhood is strong, and I’m totally okay with being a food snob.


Scott died on this expedition, but the fruitcake he left behind could still be considered edible-ish a hundred years later. This is miserable.

There’s also a horrible “Ozymandias” aspect to this where the fruitcake was so well made that it held up like a stone monument because of the quality of English fruitcake-making of the early 1900s. “Look on my works ye mighty and despair!” But it’s fruitcake…


It’s not that much work, but it does represent problems. Like running out of rum before the cake is finished.


It was truly bizarre and something I haven’t forgotten despite it happening 20-25 years ago.

Maybe the frosting was a mistake or maybe it needed to be like that to support the weight of the entire structure (and “structure” is a good word for what this was).

Maybe I shouldn’t judge all fruitcake based on this monstrosity but I definitely didn’t enjoy the “cake” part when I had a taste.

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What’s weird to me is that 99% of the foods I loathed as a kid are things I came to either enjoy or adore as an adult: fried eggs, tomatoes, liver (as pate, mostly), spicy foods, asparagus, onion… and I kept expecting that another childhood hate-food, cantaloupe, would become wonderful as I got older. Nope. Of all things, it still tastes weird and wrong and off to me, like rotten melon. My sister similarly avoids it, so I wonder if there’s some strange genetic thing going on there where others perceive it as fresh and fruity and delectable.


You had me at sherry.


Our taste palettes tend to evolve as we get older; for instance, I couldn’t eat spicy foods as a kid, but I love them now.

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Then you should stay away from miso paste. That stuff literally has a shelf life of infinity. The salt content prevents spoilage of virtually any kind. Kewpie Mayonnaise also has a shelf life longer than most shelves