Is fruitcake really that bad? Harristes weigh in.

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Winter break is just around the corner and students are excited to get their long overdue rest and feast on food. When it comes to festive foods, one cannot leave out fruitcake, a traditional holiday dessert infamous for its distastefulness. But is this really true? Or is this just a popular opinion that everyone accepts? This holiday season, The Classic hopes to finally put an end to this mystery and shed light on fruitcake. 

Fruitcake has always had a bad reputation. It has been the butt of endless jokes on holiday foods—in the early 2000s, there was even a Tonight Show segment called “Ask the Fruitcake Lady,” which was dedicated to mocking fruitcakes’ existence. However, it has never been clarified exactly what caused fruitcakes to have this reputation.

Most of it is attributed to the dish’s rather unappetizing appearance with its overuse of nuts, artificial fruit, and its stale-look. When shown a picture of a fruitcake, freshman Rica Ho said, “It looks like dry mud [and] does not look appetizing at all.” Still, although fruitcake may look slightly jarring, appearance does not account for taste.

With its notoriety for an unsavory taste due to its unappetizing appearance, many stubbornly hold onto their discontent for fruitcake, even those who haven’t tried it. When students (especially those who had never eaten fruit cake) were asked about their thoughts on what the dessert could taste like, the responses were generally negative. Sophomore Reah Joby said, “I wouldn’t eat it unless I was forced to.” 

However, when people who had previously eaten fruitcake were asked about their opinion, the majority of the responses were positive. English teacher Katie Yan said that it tasted “delicious, chewy and fruity,” and that she would eat it again voluntarily. Sophomore Susan Yang said, “It tasted sweet and overall good. But I didn’t like the [fruit and nuts] inside.” 

Interestingly, those who had never actually tried fruitcake already had opinions on its taste, which were negative. However, those who had a chance to try the dessert thought that it tasted good. Fruit cake is just an average dessert with an unfortunate reputation. As classical languages teacher George Hagerty said, “[fruitcake is] take it or leave it”.

Art by Vivian Chen