Fruitcake today is the butt of jokes at Christmas, even getting airtime on a popular 1990's sitcom, which continues in reruns. During the fifth season of "A Different World" in episode 12, five or six of the cast members pass around a fruitcake as a gift and by the end of the show, the cake is back with the individual who originated it in the beginning. If you may be wondering why we have this holiday treat, its origin can be traced back to the 18th and 19Th Century when it was actually enjoyed by many Europeans. According to Yahoo Lifestyle, this desert that at a lot of people disdain today was loved by the early Romans.

The origins of the fruitcake

It seems that Fruitcake was a much sought-after delicacy during the 18th and 19th centuries. it began with the Romans who enjoyed a dessert made from dried raisins, barely mash, pine nuts, honeyed wine and pomegranate seeds. This is the recipe for the first known fruitcake. The concept of putting fruit in batter spread to Europe where the first plum cakes were made.

In that culture, the word "plum" was a term used for any type of dried fruit, which indicates plums were not the sole ingredient. These desserts initially were referred to as Christmas cakes, but were often on the menu at weddings and other special occasions. There is no proof, but it is assumed and seems likely that Americans took this idea from the Europeans and began baking fruitcakes during the Christmas season.

Why the fruitcake is so hated

According to Smithsonian Magazine, a mass production of fruitcakes began in the 20th century. It is believed that Americans became tired of the holiday treat when they found so many were on hand. Just imagine the scenario from "A Differnt World' being lived out by Americans everywhere. Doorbells ringing on Christmas with most every guest having this classic dessert in hand and fruitcakes piling up at annual office parties and other celebrations.

Discuss this news on Eunomia

This theory of an overload of the dessert on hand sounds plausible as to why so many people hate fruitcakes. Keep that in mind this holiday season and don't let the sight of this age-old classic interfere with your Christmas celebration. SHould you get one and decide not to partake you can follow the lead of "A Different World" and pass the cake along to someone else. This way you will keep the tradition going for generations to come. Who knows, there may be people who actually appreciate this delicacy and will actually eat it.