Made with chopped candied or dried fruit, nuts and spices and sometimes soaked in “spirits,” fruitcake has been a holiday gift-giving tradition for many years.
Rome is believed to be the creator of fruitcake, and one of the earliest recipes known comes from ancient Rome listing pomegranate seeds, pine nuts and raisins that were 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 available ingredients and tradition.
Sugar from the American Colonies along with the discovery that high concentrations of sugar could preserve fruits, created an excess of candied fruit hence making fruitcakes more affordable and much more popular starting in the 16th century.
Here are 5 fun facts about Fruitcake:
1. It may not have become the notorious gift it is now until relatively recently, but its been around for a very long time. According to historians, some early versions of this weighty thing were thought to be left in Egyptian tombs, taken into battles by Roman soldiers and carried by the Crusaders.
2. The saying "nutty as a fruitcake” was first coined in 1935 and, really, what would the world be without it?
3. The traditional Fruitcake is loaded with dried fruit, nuts and usually some type of alcohol. Sure dried fruit, when unsweetened and eaten in moderation, can be a good way to get antioxidants and fiber, and nuts are a tasty way to get some healthy fats and protein, but BEWARE: Fruitcake can be high in calories and fat, outweighing any benefits of the individual ingredients.
4. Fruitcake is known for his, shall we say longevity. Stories abound of long lost fruitcakes rediscovered and passed on.
5. Johnny Carson made Fruitcake infamous (and outraged Fruitcake lovers the world over) with his famous joke: "The worst gift is fruitcake. There is only one fruitcake in the entire world, and people keep sending it to each other."
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source: https://www.healthydiningfinder.com/blogs-recipes-more/Healthy-Weight-Loss/5-Fun-Facts-about-Fruitcake & https://nationaldaycalendar.com/national-fruitcake-day-december-27/