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| Columns |

FFF: Fruitcake

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'Tis the season to mock the poor fruitcake, arguably the most disrespected comestible of all time.

"There is nothing dangerous about fruitcakes as long as people send them along without eating them." ~Calvin Trillin

"Fruitcakes make ideal gifts because the Postal Service has been unable to find a way to damage them." ~Dave Barry

"Thirty-four years ago, I inherited the family fruitcake. Fruitcake is the only food durable enough to become a family heirloom. It had been in my grandmother's possession since 1880, and she passed it to a niece in 1933. Surprisingly, the niece, who had always seemed to detest me, left it to me in her will....I would have renounced my inheritance except for the sentiment of the thing, for the family fruitcake was the symbol of our family's roots. When my grandmother inherited it, it was already 86 years old, having been baked by her great-grandfather in 1794 as a Christmas gift for President George Washington. Washington, with his high-flown view of ethical standards for Government workers, sent it back with thanks, explaining that he thought it unseemly for Presidents to accept gifts weighing more than 80 pounds, even though they were only eight inches in diameter...There is no doubt...about the fruitcake's great age. Sawing into it six Christmasses ago, I came across a fragment of a 1794 newspaper with an account of the lynching of a real-estate speculator in New York City."
~"Fruitcake is Forever," Russell Baker, The New York Times, December 25, 1983,


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