Hundred-year-old fruitcake found in 'excellent condition' among Antarctic artefacts


The fruity treat was among almost 1,500 artifacts found in the Cape Adare huts.

Specifically, they found it in a hut on Cape Adare. The dessert, made by British cake makers Huntley & Palmers, was found wrapped in paper inside the remains of a tin, and was "almost edible", the organisation said in a statement.

"The cake probably dates to the Cape Adare-based Northern Party of Scott's Terra Nova expedition", the trust said.

Fruit cake was a popular treat in Britain at the time that Scott and his team were exploring the region, and he even documented that he had packed this particular brand with him.

And although Cape Adare is often visited by touring cruise ships, Meeks said it could be another hundred years before anyone comes across the fruitcake again.

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If you need any more convincing of the worth of fruitcake, then just listen to the Trust's program manager for artifacts, Lizzie Meek: "It's an ideal high-energy food for Antarctic conditions, and is still a favourite item on modern trips to the Ice".

But could the classic tea cake last 100 years? The tin's label underwent deacidification, and the paper had some minor repairs made to tears.

"With just two weeks to go on the conservation of the Cape Adare artifacts, finding such a perfectly preserved fruitcake in amongst the last handful of unidentified and severely corroded tins was quite a surprise".

The cake was found along with other food remnants left in the hut by the explorers, including sardines, deteriorated meat and fish and a couple jars of jam. Nothing about the packaging looks pleasant, but those who have handled the fruitcake say it looks and smells basically like normal.