Kitchen & Pantry

Lasang Pinoy 5 : Fruit cakes, a family tradition

I can’t remember a Christmas day when we didn’t have fruit cake. Even as a child, lots of people would give my parents fruit cakes for Christmas. There were times when my mother would order dozens of fruit cakes for gift-giving. fruit cake

The fruit cake in the photo was given by my mother-in-law. She didn’t bake it though; it was given by her sister-in-law. See, in my husband’s family, only he eats fruit cakes. When we were still living with them, for two Christmases, he and I gorged on all the fruit cakes that entered the house. We had no competition. When we moved out, my mother-in-law would give us their fruit cakes when we came over during the holidays.

Of course, it isn’t true that a fruit cake is a fruit cake is a fruit cake. There’s the real thing, smelling and tasting of brandy with gooey candied fruit peel and whole nuts, and the cheap imitations. In supermarkets, you can choose from all available price brackets, depending on your budget.

This year, for instance, I bought two fruit cakes–one for us and another for Yuga whom I was supposed to meet at the Pinoyblog Christmas party. For some unfortunate reason, I wasn’t able to make it (don’t ask anymore why, it’s so embarrassing). I ended up bringing home both fuit cakes. They were from Dulcinea and they were pretty expensive for their size. My husband and I were so disappointed. The candied peel looked like they had been sprinkled on top, like an afterthought, instead of baked in. The bread wasn’t firmly packed and crumbled when sliced. And it was so tiny inside the box. Anyway, Yuga‘s fruit cake is still sitting in the fridge. He can have it for Valentine’s Day. :-P

Thing is, the Dulcinea experience isn’t an isolated one. Year in and year out, we’d try fruit cakes from different deli shops. A few happy times we’d be satisfied but those are exceptions. There were more disappointments than satisfying experiences.

Personally, the best fruit cake I ever had were mini fruit cakes the size of muffins. Some European brand. Six mini cakes in a tin given by a friend of my mother years ago. It was really unforgettable. Moist and dark and heavy and… well, the bread was pratically invisible with the amount of fruits and nuts. :lol: Just the way I like it. Don’t know when I’d have the chance of eating a fruit cake as perfectly delectable.

Have I ever tried baking my own fruit cake? Yeah, once. Such a disaster I never tried again. :lol:


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