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December 27th is National Fruitcake Day

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If you're looking for something to do then I hope you like fruit because it's National Fruitcake Day!  I know; it's your favorite!  So, let's get right into celebrating National Fruitcake Day!

WHY IS THIS A HOLIDAY?  

Well, it's become quite a tradition for people to give fruitcakes as gifts around this time of year. I'm not sure why, because no one really seems to like the dang things! So why do we keep making them? I mean, I'd ask why we keep giving them away, but once you have one in your possession you'd want to give it away too! Well OK, someone out there might love the things, and maybe it was them that started the tradition. Either way, the tradition is here to stay and so is this holiday!  But fruitcakes have been around for quite some time, and not just because they're preserved so well. The ancient Romans appear to have sparked the start of this traditional cake, with cakes they made from barley, pine nuts, pomegranate seeds and raisins. But in the Middle Ages, they upped the ante with the glorious preserved fruit, along with some honey and spices. Now it's starting to sound a little like a modern day fruitcake, right?

But it wasn't until sugar started coming in, from the American colonies, in the 16th century that people really started to preserve their fruit, for these cakes. That's right; candied fruit lasts for quite a while! But there's something else that can be added to make the cake last even longer: alcohol! How long can an alcohol-soaked fruitcake last? Well, there's a family in Michigan who has a, presumably safe to eat, fruitcake that was baked in 1878. In fact, Jay Leno sunk his teeth into a piece of it, in 2003.  Sounds tasty, doesn't it?

HOW TO CELEBRATE 

So, how can you celebrate today?  Well, are you brave enough to eat some fruitcake or would you rather just carry on the tradition of giving fruitcakes to people? If you're too afraid to eat some, then just go out, find a couple really nice looking fruitcakes and give them to someone you don't really care to impress. Because getting a fruitcake as a gift is kind of like saying, "I spent some money on you but I don't know you enough to know what you like and this was bigger than a card."  But if you are brave enough to sink your teeth into a fruitcake then do just that! You can make it yourself or buy one, but you might not get a tasty one right off the bat if you buy one. That is of course unless you know of some amazing brand of fruitcake. So, if I were you, I would try to find a fruitcake recipe that has gotten a lot of good reviews and go from there.  But do you know what else you could do today? You could create your own fruitcake to be a family heirloom, and aim to preserve it for as long as humanly possible. Candy your fruit, soak it in alcohol and read up on ways to make fruitcake last the longest. And then, as you get into the later years of your life, you can pass the fruitcake on to a younger generation in your family. And perhaps part of the tradition could be that you, and the person you pass it down to, share a slice of the cake to see what preservation really tastes like.  Have a great day and try your best to enjoy your cake!





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