Fruitcake is one holiday tradition that’s not for everybody, we know that, but those who love it, love it – like the Ford family in Michigan, which has kept a single fruitcake as an heirloom for over 140 years. Plus: if fruitcake is so infamous, why are there two towns that want to be known as the fruitcake capital of the world?
For Tecumseh family, 141-year-old fruitcake represents love (Detroit News)
Today we’re talking about one of those holiday traditions that we all acknowledge but maybe don’t actually participate in: fruitcake.
It’s not for everybody, we know that, but those who love it, love it. Like the Ford family in Michigan, which has kept a single fruitcake, as an heirloom, for over 140 years.
The Detroit News has the story of the baker of this cake, Fidelia Ford.
Her Christmas tradition was to make a fruitcake and serve it only after it had aged for a year.
This is what she did in late 1878, but unfortunately she passed on before the fruitcake could be served at Christmas 1879.
So the family decided, instead of eating Fidelia’s last cake, they would hang onto it as long as possible, in her memory.
It’s been passed down through the generations of the family, kept in an antique glass dish and occasionally brought out to show friends, neighbors and the public.
Over the years it’s only been tasted twice: once on The Tonight Show, and once by Fidelia Ford’s grandson, Amos.
He was 84 at the time, the cake was 86.
And he said it was a shame no one had ever gotten to try the heirloom cake.
Relatives thought he was joking, but then Amos took out a little knife, sliced off a piece and put it in his mouth.
As the Detroit News reported, “Witnesses described it as crunchy.”
Few treats are supposedly as infamous as fruitcake, and yet there are two towns that claim the title fruitcake capital of the world.
One is Claxton, Georgia, west of Savannah, where there are two bakeries that make millions of pounds of fruitcake a year.
The other is Corsicana, Texas, south of Dallas, where a bakery also puts out a large swath of fruitcake.
Which gets the nod over the year? Well, maybe they could pull a Fidelia Ford and leave us a cake that can carry on for decades.
Just an idea.