space
space
Peshtigo Times
space
space
space
Perspectives
* Country Cousin
space
space
Sports Shorts
* WIAA Crowns Four State Spring Baseball Champions
* Multiple Marines Awarded Spring Post-Season Honors
* Bulldogs Picked for Packerland Honors In Three Spring Sports
* Little River Hosts Fathers Day Scramble
* Marinette/Menominee Open Summer Seasons with Wins

space
Peshtigo Fire
space
e-Edition
Now Available
For more information
click here
dot
THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
space
dot
space

From My Window

Issue Date: December 7, 2016

Fruit Cake - Is It Edible?

By Jane Thibodeau Martin,

Already saw my first "fruit cake" joke of the season so I did a little digging to understand this food item, probably closer associated to Christmas than anything else you can eat other than candy canes.

Fruit cakes, in general, are dense dark cakes featuring either candied fruit, or dried fruit, and nuts. Many of them are soaked in rum or have other alcohol as part of their recipe. (One wag said "it's hard to believe I don't like anything that involves a lot of butter and rum.") As I suspected, this is a very old food item, with records going back to at least the 14th century in England, but apparently its roots lie in ancient Rome. Thinking about these roots, it's pretty clear why a baked item from those times would involve alcohol " it's a powerful preservative, and dousing the finished cake with rum would prevent it from getting moldy. (A historical example of this was the death in battle of England's very famous Lord Nelson. In order that he could be returned to his beloved England for burial, his ship's crew put the body in a wooden barrel and filled it with brandy, ensuring the body would be in good condition after a long sea voyage. That's kind of a sobering thought now, isn't it?)

And since there was no refrigeration in Europe or anywhere else when these early fruit cakes were made, the "fruit" had to be preserved as well, with Christmas not a time when fresh fruit would have been available. So either dried fruit, or candied fruit was necessary. Now, candied fruit is something I just can't tolerate " it's fruit preserved by successive baths in sugar water, which slowly dehydrates the fruit while coating it with sugar, again, to prevent the growth of microbes. This fruit is generally composed of pineapple, citrus peel, raisins and those hideous dyed green and red Maraschino cherries. I call the garish red and green cherries "chemical cherries." There is nothing fruit-like about this stuff, it's like they baked in a bunch of gummy bears.

(Okay, I'll show my hand here. Not a fruit cake fan, at all.)

Finally, a lot of nuts, typically pecans but sometimes walnuts. There is an expression "nutty as a fruit cake." I think you have to be nutty as a fruit cake to eat something like this when there are so many holiday food specialties available at Christmas time.

There are written records of mail-order fruit cakes from 1913, and of course they are ubiquitous at this time of year " with mail order prices ranging from around $20 well upwards of $40 plus shipping. To me, it is the kind of thing you order for someone out of desperation, since they already have everything they could possibly want or need, and you are totally out of gift ideas. Or something a company sends out to customers, because they have to buy for 30 different people who are hard to please with one single item. Fruit cake does, at least, have tradition going for it.

I have, at various times, been talked into sampling different fruit cakes, and I have yet to be impressed. I'm not much of a cake person to begin with, and all of it tastes pretty much the same to me. (I don't like Gummi Bears, either.) Perhaps that is why there are so many urban legends about families sending the same unopened fruit cake tin back and forth for the holiday for years. Or, perhaps, your family does this and it's not an urban legend at all. Maybe you know someone with a 20-year old fruit cake, with a list of names and years recording its travels between various family members. After all, no worries it will get moldy!

I did see a really interesting event involving fruit cake which is held after the holiday every year in Monitor Springs, Colorado. They hold a "fruit cake toss," and encourage people to utilize "recycled" fruit cakes for their tosses, assuming, I guess, that is a cake that has already been gifted. Now that sounds like a fun event, and perhaps some extremely hungry animals then clean up the resulting mess. Best use I have heard of yet for fruit cake.

You can reach me for commentary, alternative viewpoints or ideas at this e-mail address: . Please do not send fruit cakes.


Recent stories, opinions and photos

Issue Date Department Headline
06-22-2018Sports
WIAA Crowns Four State Spring Baseball Champions

06-22-2018
Peshtigo High School softball team members, Madi Martin and Shae Tonn were chosen to play in the Division 2/3 game held on June 12

06-21-2018Front Page
Marinette County Breakfast on the Farm is June 24th

06-21-2018Front Page
Kass Resigns County Finance Director Post

06-21-2018Front Page
Peshtigo Police Chief Resigns, Moving Back To Michigan

06-21-2018Front Page
Infrastructure Committee Wants To Move Back To Peshtigo Shop

06-21-2018Front Page
Kiosk At Riverside Cemetery To Help Identify Grave Sites

06-21-2018Community - Coleman
CHS 1943-65 Class Reunion is July 15th

06-21-2018Community - Coleman
Car Show Vendor Deadline June 25

06-21-2018Community - Coleman
Library To Host Ice Cream Social

06-21-2018Community - Coleman
Coleman Youth Basketball Camp

06-21-2018Community - Crivitz
Crivitz VFW Post 2063 Meets

06-21-2018Community - Crivitz
Ice Cream Social at Crivitz June 28

06-21-2018Community - Crivitz
Camp Bird Event is June 20-22

06-21-2018Community - Crivitz
M&M Area Foundation Helps Fund School Supplies

06-21-2018Community - Wausaukee
Jose Honored as Legionnaire of Year

06-21-2018Community - Wausaukee
Athelstane/Silver Cliff Legion Post 66 To Meet June 23

06-21-2018Community - Wausaukee
Harvest Dinner at Presbyterian Church

06-21-2018Community - Wausaukee
Blood Drive at Silver Cliff Rescue

06-21-2018Obituaries
Shirley J. Behnke

06-21-2018Obituaries
Eunice R. Borst

06-21-2018Obituaries
Betty M. Dettloff

06-21-2018Obituaries
June E. Diercks

06-21-2018Obituaries
Elizabeth L. Downs

06-21-2018Obituaries
Edith Franzen

06-21-2018Obituaries
Edna M. Garon

06-21-2018Obituaries
Mary Louise Gauld

06-21-2018Obituaries
Thomas A. Gilligan

06-21-2018Obituaries
Mary C. Gocht

06-21-2018Obituaries
Peggy Madden

06-21-2018Obituaries
Gerald F. Wescher

06-21-2018Perspectives
Country Cousin

06-21-2018Perspectives
From My Window

06-21-2018Perspectives
From our Readers

06-21-2018Sports
Multiple Marines Awarded Spring Post-Season Honors

06-21-2018Sports
Bulldogs Picked for Packerland Honors In Three Spring Sports

06-21-2018
Martin/Tonn Play in WFSCA All Star Game

06-21-2018Sports
Little River Hosts Fathers Day Scramble

06-14-2018Front Page
Coleman Annexes Property For Cheese Factory Project

06-14-2018Front Page
Pound Fireman's Picnic, Car Show Both In June

06-14-2018Front Page
Environmental Groups Pledge To Continue Back Forty Fight

06-14-2018Front Page
PFAS Found At Tyco Stanton Street Facility

06-14-2018Front Page
Grover Residents Advised To Keep Fire Signs Visible

06-14-2018Community - Coleman
Renovation Tour On Coleman School Board June 18 Agenda

06-14-2018Community - Coleman
Village Pound Car Show is June 30th

06-14-2018Community - Coleman
Continue to Feature Cougar Walls of Fame

06-14-2018Community - Coleman
4th Annual Craft, Vendor Fair at Equity Park June 16

06-14-2018Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Junior High Students Attain Honors

06-14-2018Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Legion Run for Recovery

06-14-2018
Ice Cream Social at Crivitz June 28

06-14-2018Community - Crivitz
Monthly CPR Class at Crivitz Clinic

06-14-2018Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Announces 4th Quarter Honor Roll

06-14-2018Community - Wausaukee
Alee Aragon Addresses Auxiliary

06-14-2018Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Back to School Program Receives $3,000

06-14-2018Community - Wausaukee
WBA Sponsors Farmers Market

06-14-2018Sports
Marinette/Menominee Open Summer Seasons with Wins

06-14-2018
Area Golfers Receive GCAW Academic All State Honors

06-14-2018Sports
Five High Schools Claim WIAA State Softball Titles

06-14-2018Sports
Busy Season For Marinette Parks & Rec & Public Works

06-14-2018Perspectives
From My Window

06-14-2018Perspectives
Country Cousin

06-14-2018Perspectives
From Our Readers

06-07-2018Sports
WIAA Softball State Tourney Starts June 7

06-07-2018Sports
Area Golfers Battle Through Tough State Course

06-07-2018Sports
Peshtigo's Rauch Captures D2 State Pole Vault Title

06-07-2018Sports
Coleman/Wausaukee Bow Out In Sectionals

06-07-2018Perspectives
From Our Readers

06-07-2018Perspectives
Country Cousin

06-07-2018Perspectives
From My Window

06-07-2018Obituaries
Richard L. Dantinne

06-07-2018Obituaries
Mildred Donlevy 

06-07-2018Obituaries
Clara (Wasmund) Druckrey

06-07-2018Obituaries
John F. Egofske

06-07-2018Obituaries
Dixie K. Gard

06-07-2018Obituaries
Lila M. Hallada

06-07-2018Obituaries
Myron C. Klika

06-07-2018Obituaries
Donald D. Kroening

06-07-2018Obituaries
Kent W. Lantow

06-07-2018Obituaries
John W. Lesniak

06-07-2018Obituaries
Marsha A. Lindgren

06-07-2018Obituaries
Beth M. Mireau

06-07-2018Obituaries
Bonnie R. Berton-Neumeyer

06-07-2018Obituaries
Nancy J. Prange

06-07-2018Obituaries
Bruce E. Ranzinger

06-07-2018Obituaries
Ellen M. Raygo

06-07-2018Obituaries
Kathryn Schahczinski

06-07-2018Obituaries
Russell L. Schwartz

06-07-2018Obituaries
Kenneth J. VanDreel

06-07-2018Obituaries
John P. Wingers

06-07-2018Obituaries
Leonard F. Wirkus

06-07-2018Community - Wausaukee
Church Rummage Sale/Cook Out

06-07-2018Community - Wausaukee
SC Fire-Rescue to Plan Picnic

06-07-2018Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Class of 1988 Reunion on Aug. 18

06-07-2018Community - Crivitz
Ice Cream Social at Crivitz June 28

06-07-2018Community - Crivitz
Meeting for Girl Scouts at Crivitz

06-07-2018Community - Crivitz
Woman's Club Pop-Up Sale

06-07-2018Community - Coleman
Village Pound Car Show is June 30th

06-07-2018Community - Coleman
Pound Fire Picnic Dates June 15-16

06-07-2018Community - Coleman
Coleman Utility Board To Meet

06-07-2018Community - Coleman
Coleman Schools List Summer Office Hours

06-07-2018Front Page
New Brazeau Building Honors Elizabeth Washebek

06-07-2018Front Page
Final Permit Issued For Back Forty Mine

06-07-2018Front Page
Peshtigo Council Approves 1% Hike In Water Rates

06-07-2018Front Page
Late Season Snow Blamed For City Recreation Issues

06-07-2018Front Page
Town Peshtigo Airs Road, Billing Issues

05-31-2018Perspectives
From My Window

05-31-2018Sports
Rangers/Badgers Face Off in Regional Final Today

05-31-2018Sports
Rangers Are Last Team Standing on Tournament Trail

05-31-2018Sports
Area Athletes Head To State Meet In LaCrosse

05-31-2018Sports
Peshtigo Takes Perfect Record To State

05-31-2018Perspectives
Country Cousin

05-31-2018Obituaries
Earl J. Alsteen

05-31-2018Obituaries
Elizabeth L. Anglehart

05-31-2018Obituaries
James A. Benesh

05-31-2018Obituaries
Paul R. Berntson

05-31-2018Obituaries
Dale R. Borneman

05-31-2018Obituaries
Robert F. Brown, Jr.

05-31-2018Obituaries
Norman Buhrandt

05-31-2018Obituaries
Roberta C. Couillard

05-31-2018Obituaries
Richard Deschaine

05-31-2018Obituaries
Karen and Dennis Fry

05-31-2018Obituaries
Raymond A. Gorman

05-31-2018Obituaries
Glenn G. Harris

05-31-2018Obituaries
Charles W. Hatton 

05-31-2018Obituaries
Stella M. Horvath

05-31-2018Obituaries
Patricia A. Johnston

05-31-2018Obituaries
Sandra S. Kasik

05-31-2018Obituaries
Carol L. Klein

05-31-2018Obituaries
Arlie K. Manning

05-31-2018Obituaries
Patrice L. Messenger

05-31-2018Obituaries
Laurie Nicklaus

05-31-2018Obituaries
Helen M. Peterson

05-31-2018Obituaries
Rita Peterson

05-31-2018Obituaries
Jacqueline Rudolph

05-31-2018Obituaries
Gertrude Tetzlaff

05-31-2018Obituaries
William M. Thierling

05-31-2018Obituaries
Joy M. Van Hecke

05-31-2018Obituaries
Daniel D. VanHoff

05-31-2018Obituaries
Ramon G. Varrientos

05-31-2018Obituaries
Leonard J. Williams

05-31-2018Community - Wausaukee
Seven Red Cross Scholarship Winners

05-31-2018Community - Wausaukee
 Wausuakee Lions Big Cash Raffle

05-31-2018Community - Wausaukee
WBA Farmers Market New Location This Year

05-31-2018Community - Crivitz
Sports Awards Winners At Crivitz High School

05-31-2018
NE WI Kids Fishing Outing July 7 at Laona

05-31-2018Community - Crivitz
Lions Golf Scramble at Crivitz June 2nd

05-31-2018Community - Crivitz
De Smidt's Awards Four Scholarships

05-31-2018Community - Coleman
Coleman Village Board June 4

05-31-2018Community - Coleman
4th Annual Craft, Vendor Fair at Equity Park June 16

05-31-2018Community - Coleman
Pound Fire Dept. Picnic July 15-16


space
Peshtigo Times
WEB Poll!
Do you think the Green Bay Packers will make it to the Super Bowl this year.
space Yes
No
Undecided
space
TO VOTE CLICK
YES, NO or UNDECIDED

Suggest a Question
space .
space
FRONT
space
.
space
CLASSIFIEDS
space
.
space
COMMUNITY
space
.
space
GUEST BOOK
space
.
space
NEWS
space
.
space
OBITS
space
.
space
PERSPECTIVES
space
.
space
SPORTS
space
.
space
SUBSCRIBE
space
.
space
.
space
PESHTIGO FIRE
space
.
space
CUSTOM PRINTING
space
.
space
TIMES' SAVER
space
.
space
Click for Peshtigo, Wisconsin Forecast
FORECAST
space
Quick...
News or Ad Search
Enter News key words.
Enter Ad key words.



Peshtigo Times
841 Maple St
PO Box 187
Peshtigo, WI 54157
Phone: 715-582-4541
Email:
News@
PeshtigoTimes.com

space
Fax: 715-582-4662
© 2000-2018
All right reserved
space
Powered by
WEB Media
Interactive
COMMUNITY
WEB sites