Today is Fruitcake Toss Day! Fruitcakes are the holiday gift that no one asks for, but many people receive. If you still haven’t eaten or re-gifted your holiday fruitcake, today is the perfect excuse to toss it. Start the year with a clean pantry!
Every year in Manitou Springs, Colorado, there is a Great Fruitcake Toss in which people compete to see how far they can throw or hurtle their fruitcakes. People also use the cakes at this event to make little cars to race during a Fruitcake Derby.
The first Great Fruitcake Toss took place in 1995. The event has grown into a huge festival that attracts participants from across the country. So go ahead and join the rest of the nation today in throwing out your holiday fruitcakes!
Here are some fanciful facts about the much maligned fruitcake and a few of the reasons I love it.
- Some sources trace variations of the fruitcake back to the times of the Egyptians, and fruitcake was certainly around in the Middle Ages. Doesn’t that make it historic? A classic, like the little black dress?
- The shelf life of a fruitcake may be two or even three years – and I don’t mean for dead Pharaohs. Think of the re-gifting possibilities. What’s not to love about that?
- American fruitcake recipes can be documented as far back as 1824, according to About.com, with recipes that include some 9 pounds of fruit and nuts.
- The ingredients are as lavish and colorful as a big box of crayons! Fruitcake is a potpourri of sugary, squishy and otherwise crunchy stuff, including raisins, currants, almonds, pineapples, cherries, pecans, alcohol, corn syrup… a health food, no?
- Many fruitcakes are provided by Trappist monks from Oregon to Georgia. Their bakeries (and fruitcake revenues) furnish financing to the monasteries. Hell, I’m feeling more spiritual about my Christmas fruitcake already.
- The record for consumption of this chock-full-of-nuts confection was set in 2001 by Sonya Thomas, who downed 4 lbs and 14 oz in 10 minutes. (UGH.)
- Takeru Kobayashi – record holder for (competitive) consumption of hot dogs and a number of other foods – attempted to better Thomas’ accomplishment in December 2008, and couldn’t do it!
- What other holiday food has its own sporting event? If you receive one of those fruitcakes (the pallid, chalky, neon-lit, or led-weighted variety) – no worries! There is a fruitcake tossing event that’s been around for years – the Annual Manitou Springs Fruitcake Toss!