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December 05, 2013
A lot of people, apparently.
A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the rebranding of broccoli. Today, in the proper holiday spirit, I'm wondering if one of those branding gurus might lend a hand to fruitcake.
Once treasured as a special winter treat--unlike fresh fruit, fruitcake held up through the long cold season--fruitcake was a revered thing, star of holiday dessert platters everywhere.
And then along came Johnny Carson with this bit:
"There is only one fruitcake in the entire world," he said, "and people keep sending it to each other."
Other comedians picked up the thread, and now people hold up fruitcake as the laughingstock of holiday goodies: there's even a town, Manitou Springs, Colorado, that holds an annual Great Fruitcake Toss.
But there's a small minority (many of them British) in favor of the once-lauded sweet.
Make it well, they say, and it's delicious: fruity, spicy, soaked in booze.
(And if you disagree, you have to admit that one of fruitcake's most extraordinary features is its extremely long shelf life: a reported 3-25 years.)
Or, if you prefer, follow a more traditional fruitcake recipe from the White House, published in the New York Times in 1985.
And if it doesn't turn out? You can probably give it to somebody.
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