Fruit Cake around the World
Holiday fruit cakes abound this time of year. Every since I was young I remember someone bringing over to my parents house a fruitcake. Sometimes they were good and sometimes awful!
Why don’t we look at the what other coountries call a fruit cake!
In various countries
In Australia, fruit cake is consumed throughout the year, and is available at most major retail outlets. Although popular, common retail varieties of the cake are high in salt, sugar, and milk fat. The cake is rarely eaten with icing or condiments.
In the Bahamas, not only is the fruit cake drenched with rum, but the ingredients are as well. All of the candied fruit, walnuts, and raisins are placed in an enclosed container and are soaked with the darkest variety of rum, anywhere from 2 weeks to 3 months in advance. The cake ingredients are mixed, and once the cake has finished baking, rum is poured onto it while it is still hot.
The fruit cake is commonly known as a Christmas Cake in Canada and eaten during the Christmas season. Rarely is it seen during other times of the year. The Canadian fruit cake is similar in style to the UK version, as it is in most Commonwealth countries. However, there is rarely icing on the cake and alcohol is not commonly put in Christmas cakes that are sold. The cakes also tend to be void of any decorations and are shaped like a small loaf of bread. Dark, moist and rich Christmas cakes are the most frequently consumed, with white Christmas cake rarely seen. These cakes tend to be made in mid-November to early December when the weather starts to cool down. They are a staple during Christmas dinner and a gift generally exchanged between business associates and close friends/family.
In French, as in some other non-English speaking countries, it is simply called “Cake”.
The Stollen, a traditional German fruit cake usually eaten during the Christmas season, is loaf-shaped and powdered with icing sugar on the outside. It is usually made with yeast, butter, water, flour, zest, raisins, and almonds. The most famous Stollen is the Dresdner Stollen, sold at the local Christmas market.
In Bremen, Klaben is traditionally sold and eaten during the Christmas season. Unlike the more famous Dresdner Stollen, Bremer Klaben is a kind of Stollen which is made without powdered sugar on top.
Panforte is a chewy, dense Tuscan fruit cake dating back to 13th-century Siena. Panforte is strongly flavored with spices and baked in a shallow form.
Genoa’s fruitcake, a lower, denser but still crumbly variety, is called Pandolce.
Cozonac is a fruit cake mostly made for every major holiday (Christmas, Easter, New Year).
Birnenbrot is a dense sweet Swiss fruit cake with candied fruits and nuts.
Trinidad and Tobago
Fruit cake, also called black cake is a traditional part of the Christmas celebration. The cake incorporates a large quantity of raisins and rum and becomes a staple dinner item between the Christmas season and New Years’.
In the UK, fruit cakes come in many varieties, from extremely light to rich and moist. The traditional Christmas cake is a round fruitcake covered in marzipan and then in white satin or royal icing (a hard white icing made with softly beaten egg whites). They are often further decorated with snow scenes, holly leaves, and berries (real or artificial), or tiny decorative robins or snowmen. In Yorkshire, it is often served accompanied with cheese. Fruit cakes in the United Kingdom often contain currants and glace cherries, an example of this type being the Genoa cake.
One type of cake that originated in Scotland is the Dundee Cake. This is a fruit cake that is decorated with almonds, and which owes its name to Keiller’s marmalade.
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