Today is National Fruitcake Day. In observance of the holiday, let us begin by dispelling a couple myths. First, there is not a lone fruitcake that has been re-gifted since time immemorial. Second, not all Americans despise fruitcake. According to a study cited by the Chattanooga Times Free Press, 11% of Americans like the sweet. A plurality of the 15% who claim to hate it admit they have never tasted it.
If that includes you and you received a fruitcake this year, you owe it to yourself and your gifter to at least try it before merely discarding it. Fruitcakes are a time-honored Christmas food. They date back to the time of the ancient Romans, who made a cake by combining pomegranate seeds, pine nuts, and raisins with barley mash. To this day, Italians have a fondness for including candied fruits — a mainstay of modern fruitcakes — in such desserts as cannoli and ricotta cheesecake.
If you try fruitcake and still find it’s not your taste, donate the remainder to a food shelter whose guests don’t have the luxury of tossing out good food.