Fruit Cake (1828)

Bapopik at AOL.COM Bapopik at AOL.COM
Thu Nov 7 07:23:30 UTC 2002

   Merriam-Webster has 1848 and OED has 1854 for "fruit cake."  I had found some 1840s citations that were a little earlier.  I just did some web searching of ACCESSIBLE ARCHIVES, AMERICAN PERIODICAL SERIES, GERRITSEN COLLECTION, and NORTH AMERICAN WOMEN'S LETTERS & DIARIES.  We have some pretty good databases for this stuff!
   There is an 1822 hit on APS that I'll have to get the actual APS reel to check tomorrow (today).
   If any newspapers want to know about "fruitcake" this holiday season--and you know that they will--good gosh, don't come to me.  Especially not the NEW YORK TIMES.  Ask Nigella Lawson.  She knows everything.

   20 December 1828, SATURDAY EVENING POST (AMERICAN PERIODICAL SERIES database), pg. 0_003 (?):
   The careful dame is anxiously employed in superintending the manufacture of pastry and pudding, and the younger ladies glow with the best of baking pound cake, and fruit cake--ladies fingers and jumbles.

   1840, THE HOUSE BOOK: OR, A MANUAL OF DOMESTIC ECONOMY (Philadelphia: Carey & Hart) by Eliza Leslie (GERRITSEN COLLECTION database), pg. 146:
   A large plum-cake or fruit cake will require six or seven hours to bake; and it should not be taken out till the oven has grown quite cold.

   November 1841, THE LADY'S BOOK (ACCESSIBLE ARCHIVES database), pg. 195:
   He fruit cake would not rise, but came out of the hoop a hard, heavy, black mass, of which it would have been difficult to tell the designation;...
   ...but Mrs. Haverset assured her that no one noticed whether fruit cake was light or heavy, and that the bride cake, could be scraped and cut into shape, and when iced would look quite a different thing.
   The fruit cake had been rescued by Hannah before entirely too late, Mrs. Haverset concluding that as it was not absolutely necessary for fruit cake to be sent in whole, it might be cut up when cool, after the burnt iceing had been scraped off, and put into baskets.

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