Know Your History
Before apple pie, brownies, cobblers, and other well-known desserts, there was the fruitcake. Dating back to the 1400s, this delicious dessert has received a great deal of recognition and we’re excited to share the following facts with you.
Fruitcake (or fruit cake) is a cake made with chopped candied and dry fruit, nuts, spices, and sometimes soaked in spirits. In the United Kingdom, certain rich versions may be iced and decorated. Fruitcakes are often served in celebration of weddings, winter holidays, good fortune, and other annual traditions. The name “fruitcake” can be traced back to the Middle Ages. It is derived from combining the Latin “fructus,” with the French “frui” or “frug.”
The British began their love affair with fruitcake when dried fruits from the Mediterranean arrived.
In Europe, a ceremonial type of fruitcake was baked at the end of the nut harvest and then saved and eaten the following year to celebrate the beginning of the next harvest, hoping it would bring another successful crop. After the harvest, nuts were mixed and made into a fruitcake that was saved until the following year.
In the early nineteenth century, fruitcake (called plum cake) was outlawed entirely throughout continental Europe. These cakes were considered “sinfully rich.” By the end of the nineteenth century there were laws restricting the use of plum cake.
The Late 1800s
Between 1837 and 1901, fruitcake was extremely popular. A Victorian “Tea” would not have been complete without the addition of the fruitcake to the sweet and savory spread. Queen Victoria is said to have waited a year to eat a fruitcake she received for her birthday because she felt it showed restraint, moderation, and good taste. It was the custom in England for an unmarried wedding guest to put a slice of cake, traditionally from a dark fruitcake, under their pillow at night so they would dream of the person they would marry.
In America, a slang phrase was born and used in movies and in homes across the country: “Nutty as a fruitcake.”
1954 – 1990
Gertrude “Trudy” Gilliard baked her annual fruitcake cookies, sharing them with family and friends all over the country.
1990 – Present
Gertrude Gilliard handed over her recipe to her son, Gary, and supervised him in baking this traditional family dessert. Gary continues to bake Trudy's fruitcake cookies today, now calling the cookie a “Trudy Fruity.”
The Trudy Fruity company is born, sharing their savory holiday dessert with the world.
Office Telephone: 303.329.4615
Email Address: TrudyFruityInc@gmail.com