100-year-old Fruitcake Discovered in Antarctica

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August 13, 2017

Fruitcake can last a long time, even in harsh conditions.

This might be something that many people would consider an urban myth, but proof has been found, not in the pudding but in the wrapper.

The Antarctic Heritage Trust, a charity based in Christchurch, N.Z., reported finding a piece of fruitcake on the Cape Adare peninsula in frigid Antarctica and that the fruitcake was still wrapped in paper, inside what was left of a tin.

What the researchers at the Antarctic Heritage Trust are excited about, other than the fact that they've found really old fruitcake, is that the cake made by the British company Huntley & Palmers, the preferred brand of British explorer Robert Falcon Scott.

Scott led an expedition that reached the South Pole on Jan. 18, 1912. What he found was a Norwegian flag planted by the expedition of Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen, who had arrived there first, December 14, 1911.

Scott and his team perished while making the return trip from the South Pole. Scott was known to have taken that brand of fruitcake on that journey, the Terra Nova expedition. If the recently discovered piece of fruitcake was among Scott's possessions on the ill-fated expedition, then it could speak volumes for the preservation methods of the wrapper, the tin it was stored in, and perhaps even the ingredients of the fruitcake itself. Researchers reported that the piece of cake was in relatively good condition and that it smelled almost edible.

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