WHAT’S wrong with fruitcakes? Why are there many jokes about this iconic cake? It is the drunken pastry in the cake kingdom. It should logically have many fans. However, over the years I have heard this poor boy maligned for no fault of its own.
“I think it’s because of it’s poor image. It needs a makeover or re-imaging,” said Peetong, the husband of my cousin Dona.
My Aunt Tita Blitte said: “I know what the problem is. People don’t know what to make of it. It has the fragrance of booze so it can’t be a dessert for everyone and yet it is too weirdly fruity for people who enjoy upside-down cake, strawberry shortcake or mango cake.”
Pannon, my precocious nephew, gave the best review. “I hate fruitcake. I am waging a war against it. It tastes centuries old.”
“Do you think fruitcake should be banned from the Christmas table? Maybe a new law should be passed to slap a stiff penalty on whoever eats, sells or buys fruitcake,” Uncle Gustave said.
Polonggoy, the son of Dona and Peetong, countered,”Hmm, that would encourage bootlegged fruitcake, Lolo Gustave, because the cake has a few fans.”
Dona asked me, “What about you, Obz. Do you have war with fruitcake?”
I told her I had no problem with fruitcake. In fact, I suggested ways to re-image the cake so that people can handle That Christmas Thing better.
1. Make a sandwich. Slice and toast fruitcake. Spread it with butter and place a slice or two of ham and cheese. The saltiness of the ham and cheese will add another dimension to this hated object.
2. Place two scoops of vanilla ice cream in individual dessert cups. Add cubed fruitcake. Top with preserved fruit of your choice.
3. Serve chilled sliced fruitcake with caramel dip. Pair with coffee or tea.
4. Make fruitcake float. Crumble fruitcake and top with cream. Add slices of fruit of your choice (ripe mango or peach or fruit cocktail). Add another layer of crumbled fruitcake, top with cream and end with sliced fruits. Chill before serving.
5. Alternately thread cubed fruitcake with marshmallows, hotdog balls, cubed pineapple and cubed ham. Lightly toast over hot coals or roasting pan. Serve with ice cream.
I hope I have prevented war against fruitcake. It is worth saving.