12 May 2007

Review: Southern Supreme 1 lb. fruitcake

Southern Supreme fruitcakes hail from Bear Creek, North Carolina. Yes, I'm showing a box. This cake came in a very nice box--very elegant in an almost old-school kind of way.

The one-pound, $10.95 fruitcake ($17.20 with shipping and handling) is similar to (and I say similar to, not the same as) the Claxton and Collin Street fruitcakes. Let's say it's of that family--the sweet, non-alcoholic Southern style.

The ingredients are pretty straightforward: margarine instead of butter, but no preservatives (besides those in the fruits). The box advertises the cake as the "more nuts than fruit fruitcake." Walnuts and pecans are definitely in there, as well as pineapple, dates, and golden raisins, giving it a very beige appearance, with no red or green cherries to break up the monotony. Similar to Claxton, it's a rectangular loaf cake with no appearance of a crust.

This was a really, really cute cake. Look at that photo! The cake arrives with the cutest garnish--a bright green holly berry and leaves made from preserved cherries and green pineapple pieces. It's quite novel compared to the other fruitcakes I've gotten. It certainly serves to brighten the beigeness of the cake.
If one focuses on the cake around the garnish, however, it's a bit unpleasant--it glistens like it's wet and doesn't have a cake-like appearance. You can even see this in the cake on their website. It's more like a candy, where the flour and egg serve merely to bind the fruits and nuts together.

The taste is sweet, with a heavier walnut than pecan flavor and a fruity smell. There is something nice about the evenness of the fruit in here, and I am partial to dates in fruitcakes, so that and the pineapple made for a nice flavor. However, I don't like the candy-like texture of this one--I want my cake to be cake.

I think this cake would hold appeal to those who are frightened of the large chunks of cherry and citron in other fruitcakes.

Frankly, sometimes the big chunks even freak ME out.


Anonymous said...

Yep, definitely better, the larger the cake. But this is true of any fruitcake. Interesting, your idea that this cake looked and tasted more like candy. If you look into its production, the Scotts actually bake the batter before they form it into a loaf! So it definitely cannot come out of the oven with the texture of the usual cake. But be patient. Order a two-pounder. Serve it cold, with milk. It'll never unseat Gethesmani or Holy Cross, but you'll get hooked, I guarantee. "X"

Anonymous said...

Oh, one thing more, Isabelle. If you like their boxes, you oughta see their tins (3- and 5-pound sizes). No monastery can match 'em. "X"

kevway said...

Today's (Dec. 22d, 2007) Wall Street Journal has a great article on fruitcakes. I learned that cakes which only have enough batter and eggs to hold the fruit and nuts together are exactly what good old-fashioned fruitcakes were. Nevertheless, if there is a better fruitcake out there, I am ready to try it. Between you. Isabel, and the Journal, perhaps fruitcake lovers will be vindicated eventually. Thanks for spreading the gospel of fruitcake. By the way, plum pudding was the old name for fruitcake. That puts Charles Dickens, Tiny Tim and the Cratchet family on our side in the great fruitcake skirmish!

Isabelle said...

Hi Kevway, thanks for the info on WSJ - I'll check it out. I think they've had flattering articles about fruitcake in the past, as well. Hmmmm . . . a fruitcake-lover high up in the editorial staff?

just rum and nuts said...

Great job. I am here because of the WSJ article about the Assumption Abbey fruitcake. I also read the article in WSJ several (5?) years ago when they did the best of 5 company fruitcakes with Gethesmani on top. They -at that time- had a runner up somewhere in Texas and not Collins. I remember talking to the Texas source with them saying how swamped they became post review. I can not remember the company but they were good, just not so much alcohol influence.


Isabelle said...

Hi Margie, if you think of the other Texas fruitcake-maker, let me know!!! My list needs to be longer . . .

Anonymous said...

I found it...........tried a search "Wall Street Journal fruitcake" nada. Started reading all google pages--fruitcake--until 44+ indicated not a thing possible. I then did "Texas fruitcake" and there it was.
Mary of Puddin Hill.

I am not sure how WSJ found them 5+ years ago.

You have a great blog, thanks.

Isabelle said...

Thanks, Margie!! I already have it on my list of fruitcakes to get to (next year), but I'll push it to the top.

Anonymous said...

I really didn't like fruitcake at all, but when @ a Christmas Production in Charlotte, NC in the 1980's, I was encouraged to just "TRY a bite". It has become a Thanksgiving & Christmas TRADITION for my family since then! They have an awesome website & make the very best fruitcake that I have ever tasted! Thanks for spreading the word on your site!!
Merry Fuller ---Mesa, AZ

Robin said...

Merry Fuller ---Mesa, AZ
I totally agree with you! I've always HATED fruit cake. When my step daughter moved to Bear Creek and we bought one for my mother in-law, I tasted it and fell in love! We buy one for her every Christmas now. This year i bought one for my husband and I. I love their fruit cakes!