Most people know fruitcake is a Christmas tradition. However, many people don't know why, especially since the dessert is hated so much. Two questions are often asked. First of all, why is it a holiday tradition? Secondly, why do some people hate it so much?

Origin of the cake

The seasonal cake that is loaded with dried fruit, nuts, and brandy dates back to ancient Rome. fruitcake used to be a sign of wealth because fruit was not as plentiful in the winter. Those who could afford the hard to get ingredients loved bragging about being able to get them.

Liqueurs were added to the cake after baking which further showed off the wealth of those who could afford to make one.

Fruitcakes today

Fruitcakes are very heavy. The younger generation says that they are not edible and should be used for doorstops. Fruitcakes are in stores only around Christmas time. After the holidays, you won't see them again until next year. Because fruits and nuts are plentiful today, the fruitcake is no longer a sign of wealth. The ingredients are more accessible than they used to be. So, a fruitcake is not as big a deal now as it was centuries ago.

Getting a bad rap

A fruitcake is considered a thoughtless Christmas gift, and most people don't like receiving them. Some people say it's not really a cake.

Instead, they call it bread that includes trail mix and gummy bears in it.

The dessert was very popular in the 1940s and 1950s but not so much today. Those who hate fruitcake say they are overly sweet and too heavy on candied fruit pieces and nuts.

Some say the finished product looks like something that belongs in a science lab. Giving a fruitcake is a Christmas tradition for some people. Those who receive a fruitcake often try to regift it before the season is over. If not, they will be stuck with it and will have to wait until the next Christmas season to give it away.

Jokes about the dessert

Comedians over the years have joked about the dessert. The late Johnny Carson is the probably the one who started the joke back in the 1970s when he said the worst Christmas Gift is a fruitcake. He added that there is only one in the world. People who receive it just pass it on to someone else year after year. Once the cake is in circulation, some households get the same one twice.

Comedians and others have been joking about the cake that sometimes comes in a loaf or in a round circle like other cakes. National Fruitcake Day is celebrated on December 27 for a reason. It is said that nothing destroys a fruitcake, and it can be saved from year to year. The dessert can be eaten decades after it was first made. It has been rumored that some fruitcakes are hundreds of years old.