Fruitcake – a lovely thing? Whaa?
In the U.S., fruitcake is the Christmas punchline. It’s probably the most re-gifted holiday item on the planet, which then becomes a doorstop, paperweight or overall novelty item to whip out and threaten holiday guests with who overstay their welcome (and if necessary, it can also be used in deadly combat).
And so it is always a surprise to me at how much Brits love it. It’s better known as Christmas cake or Christmas pudding – always chockful of nuts, dried fruits and alcohol. It’s actually a welcome sight in the UK – a confection to be greeted with open arms rather than the sign of the cross.
It was, after all, the Brits who penned the famed, “Oh, bring us some figgy pudding and bring some right here!”
Earlier this month, the Guardian published Nigella Lawson’s recipe for traditional Christmas cake and said, “But a traditionally iced and comfortingly decorative Christmas cake is a lovely thing, and if efficiency allows, should be embraced.”
No joke! No guffaw! No laughter! Really! I’m not sure how the taste spectrum can be so very broad between the cultures, but I’m not going to explore. I’ll pass on the Christmas cake, thankyouverymuch.
If you are interested in trying such a British delicacy, Nigella’s recipe is probably better than most, but again, if you do, you can keep it to yourself, thankyouverymuch. I already have a doorstop.
(Disclaimer: Actually, I don’t own a doorstop, but I still don’t want the fruitcake.)