Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

Commentary

December 14, 2012

The unnatural history of the fruitcake

It's December! I'm so excited. It's not because I like snow. I don't. It's not because I like shopping. I don't. It's not even because of the joyous Christmas season, although I do like that.

No, this month is sweet because it's (cue pipers piping, drummers drumming, and ladies dancing - this needs a grand introduction), National Fruitcake Month; thirty-one whole days to celebrate the greasiest, slimiest, most-calorie laden confection ever concocted! If I get one this year, I will celebrate by feeding it to my dog, who will literally eat anything, including every toy I have ever bought for her.

I'd like to take a moment to thank the Egyptians and the Romans, as rumor has it they are too blame for creating the first fruitcakes. The Egyptians baked fruitcakes for the dead. Yes, it was regarded as the essential food for the afterlife. Therefore, the dead were often interred with loaves of fruitcake made with dates and spices. Burying fruitcake; not a bad idea.

The Romans made their cake with pomegranate seeds, raisins, and pine nuts, and then soaked it in brandy as a preservative. Roman soldiers would carry it into battle when they went out to conquer an inferior civilization. Modern day deer hunters reenact the practices of the Roman soldiers every fall when they go out in the woods, eat granola, and then wash it down with alcohol while they go out to conquer an inferior species.

For some reason, others around the world caught on to the Romans' recipe and thought it sounded like a good idea to throw a bunch of garbage into cake batter then soak it in alcohol. Obviously they must have done this because the cakes weren't the only things soaking in alcohol (wink, wink).

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