Explorer’s 100-year-old fruitcake found in Antarctica in ‘excellent condition’
11 Aug 2017
If you’re ever planning an adventure and thinking about which food to take, consider the humble fruitcake.
It may not be flashy, but the dessert can survive in just about any environment – and it can last a century, if that’s what you need.
Incredibly, conservationists have discovered a 100-year-old fruitcake in the Antarctic, of all places.
And apparently, it looks and smells almost edible.
You might not want to take a bite out of it, but the Antarctic Heritage Trust claim the fruitcake made by Huntley and Palmers is in ‘excellent condition’ and still wrapped in paper.
In fact, the sturdy pudding has aged even better than the tin it was kept in, which was discovered in poor condition.
The cake is believed to have an interesting story behind it as it is thought to have been brought to the region by British explorer Robert Falcon Scott.
It has been documented that he took this specific brand of fruitcake with him.
Scott and his party successfully made it to the South Pole on the Terra Nova expedition from 1910 to 1913, but all five died on the return journey to base camp.
Lizzie Meek, programme manager for the New Zealand-based trust, said: ‘With just two weeks to go on the conservation of the Cape Adare artifacts, finding such a perfectly preserved fruitcake in amongst the last handful of unidentified and severely corroded tins was quite a surprise.
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‘It’s an ideal high-energy food for Antarctic conditions, and is still a favourite item on modern trips to the Ice.’
The trust carried out conservation treatment including rust removal and chemical stabilisation – but the cake itself was absolutely fine.
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