So, can the fruitcake make a comeback?
Bentley thinks yes: “If a movement was started at a high-end restaurant, or a trendy, artisanal pop-up shop, or bakery with a celebrated chef -- if it could shed this negative perception, and people could be exposed to real, well-crafted fruitcake. There is room to rediscover the fruitcake. It can be really good. People would find analogues -- it’s not a totally foreign taste, and there’s more than one way to make it, and that always lends itself well to trends. We like things that are familiar, and we like novelty. Fruitcake can cover both bases, if made correctly and with some style.”
Taste is cyclical, so it stands to reason that at some point in the future, our food- and fad-obsessed culture will embrace the fruitcake once again. If a hot chef makes a decent stab at bringing new spins on fruitcakes to the food world, they might just have a hit. “Oh, someone will open up an artisanal fruitcake stand, eventually, somewhere in Brooklyn or Soho and it will come back in favor again. Someone will get totally rich off this idea," Glass said.
She continued: "The big trick: getting people to actually try good, homemade fruitcakes. Fruitcake is truly a cake that comes out of love. If you make it right, it takes literal days. You should soak the fruit for days at a time to make sure they are plump and moist -- in fact, one of the reasons mass-produced fruitcakes are so dry, is because the fruit inside hasn’t been soaked long enough, and it sucks up the moisture from the bread itself. But really, if you are going to make a fruitcake for someone, that person must really mean a lot to you, because of the effort involved. It’s a notable dessert, for this reason -- and it deserves another shot.”
The American palate is primed for a fruitcake revival. So, if there are any pastry chefs out there who are up to the challenge, I'm here, waiting to try your homemade fruitcake. I promise I won't make fun of it. Also, please don't poison me.
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Wil Fulton is a staff writer for Thrillist. He's serious about the poison thing. Follow him: @wilfulton.