27 October 2007

Review: Hickory Farms 2-lb Fruitcake

I am not pleasantly surprised with this one.

Execrable. Inedible. Absolutely disgusting. I believe I have, once again, confirmed my theory that the mass-produced fruitcakes are horrible.

This is a very cute, $29, 2-lb fruitcake. Or rather, it comes in a very cute tin:

The fruitcake itself is also cute. It is garnished with WALNUTS, a little different than the usual, pecans (and it strikes me as a rather cheap alternative).

But the flavor. Ye gads. It’s interesting that the website lists cherries, pecans, pineapple, etc. as the ingredients in this cake. Sure, they’re there, but the first ingredient? Raisins. The cake is a lumpy, sweet, mish-mash of raisins. You can kind of taste some pineapple, as well as some hideously sweet, bright red candy-like cherries, but mostly it’s just sweet.

The texture is goopy. There is supposed to be some brandy and other booze in the mix, but I can’t taste it. The cherries made me shake, and I’m a fruitcake lover. There are partially hydrogenated oils in this cake, too – isn’t that trans fat? Aren’t people trying to get away from that? Why would I want it in my fruitcake?

No, unfortunately everything I feared about this fruitcake was correct. Avoid it. I think this one actually rates lower than the turnip cakes. The Hickory Farms fruitcake is going directly into the trash. It’s a waste of money.

Now I HAVE to review another fruitcake—I can’t go into the festive fruitcake season with this being the last memory of fruitcake on my mind.


Anonymous said...

Hi Isabelle.

This is Erik White. I'm a radio reporter with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

I'm looking for a fruitcake enthusiast to do a six-minute phone interview this Thursday afternoon and was wondering if you'd be up for that.

Generally, we'll just ask you about your blog, your interest in fruitcake and your feelings on how it has been so consistently maligned in pop culture.

Please email me back at whiteer@sudbury.cbc.ca or give me a call at 705-688-3241.

Hope to hear from you soon.

Anonymous said...

Isabelle --

I agree 100% with your assessment of the Hickory Farms version of "fruitcake." Absolutely AWFUL!!! Mine also went straight into the trash, and I was angry at myself for having wasted the money. (I should have at least called their customer service department to complain -- they've always provided great customer service on other items I've ordered, and they might have been willing to at least issue a store credit).

I recently tried the Costco fruitcake which LOOKED yummy, but it was so sickeningly SWEET that I couldn't even finish one small slice of it. I took it back the next morning -- Costco DOES have excellent customer service, and refunded my money with no hassle whatsoever. :o)

I just ordered the Gethsemani fruitcake, on your recommendation, and I can't wait to try it. I agree that a true fruitcake should have some booze in it! When I was a child, my German landlady made the BEST fruitcake, several months in advance, and wrapped them in booze-soaked cloth until she handed them out for Christmas. She refused to pass her recipe on to anyone -- she told my mom, "I'll take it to the grave with me!" -- and she DID! It's such a shame when people are that foolish!

I've been on a quest ever since to find the "perfect" fruitcake, and have tried MANY mail-order cakes myself. I tried Assumption Abbey and Our Lady of Guadalupe Abbey fruitcakes last year, and they were better than regular mail-order cakes, but I am really looking forward to trying the one from Gethsemani! (They were sold out last year, by the time I got around to ordering).