106-year-old Antarctic fruitcake found, might be edible

When I saw this was a story on San Francisco Gate I was wondering which way the story was going to go.

I thought it might be about a 106 year-old guy, who might be “edible.”

Turns out it’s about cake.

SF Gate-

Move over, Twinkies. You’ve been bested in the “food that refuses to decompose” department, and the contest wasn’t even close.

Conservators with the New Zealand-based Antarctic Heritage Trust recently discovered a 106-year-old fruitcake in Antarctica’s oldest building, a hut on Cape Adare.

A fruitcake is a dense, brick-like confection spiked with lumps of dried fruit and nuts that is traditionally regifted at Christmas. It is known for its long shelf life, although usually not 100 years long.

The Antarctic dessert was found wrapped in paper in a decrepit tin. But despite its rotting container, the cake was said to be in “excellent condition.”

“There was a very, very slight rancid butter smell to it, but other than that, the cake looked and smelled edible,” trust program manager Lizzie Meeks said.

Conservators believe British explorer Capt. Robert Falcon Scott probably brought the cake, made by the British biscuit company Huntley & Palmers, to Antarctica during their ill-fated 1910-1913 Terra Nova expedition.

The expedition’s Northern Party took shelter in the Cape Adare hut, which had been built by Norwegian Carsten Borchgrevink’s team in 1899, and left the fruitcake behind.



15 Comments on 106-year-old Antarctic fruitcake found, might be edible

  1. I’ve used and enjoyed aftershave from the 1920s, carbon double edge blades from the ’40s, shaving cream from the ’50s and once found a 12 year old box of original Atkins bars encased in ice at the bottom of a freezer, and I ate them. I like fruitcake. I would try it.

  2. I’m imagining how annoyed they were when they reached their next stop and unpacked all the supplies and discovered they’d left behind that symbolic fruitcake from home they’d all been looking forward to.

  3. Fruitcake, the gift that keeps on giving and giving forever. I used to like fruitcake when I was a kid until my Mom sent me one just as I was finishing Navy boot camp back in the fall of 1972. In order to make sure it was not contraband the Chief in charge of my company made me eat the whole darned thing, not all at once but before I finished boot camp. I’ve hated fruitcake ever since. They make great door stops and are perfect deadweights to keep things in place, like stacks of papers etc., otherwise they’re totally useless.

  4. Reminds me of a guy I knew who confessed that he once got so drunk at a party, he wound up performing oral sex on an 85-year-old woman.

    I said, “My God, that’s terrible.”

    He said, “I know – when I sobered up, I was so embarrassed.”

    I said, “I hope you don’t mind, but I just have to ask. What did it taste like?”

    He said, “Well….Depends.”


    (O.K., O.K., I know. I’ll close the door behind me…)


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