Our Lady of Guadalupe Trappist Abbey is in Lafayette, Oregon. I paid $33.17 to receive 2 one-pound fruitcakes--but that included about $10 in postage. This was back about a month, and now when I see their site, I don't even see the option to purchase the one pound fruitcake. Instead, they have a three pound loaf, which comes in a "handsome container," something I missed. They must change their offering seasonally--this being gladsome fruitcake season and all.
The one-pound fruitcakes are really adorable:
Maybe a little perspective is needed here. Here's the box next to the horrible Hickory Farms fruitcake tin:
They're really tiny but would be perfect for giving. I imagine this is an easier size for the abbey to handle during non-fruitcake season, as well.
So here's the cake itself:
You'll have to excuse the shrink wrap on there; I had already cut into the other one-pound cake and didn't want to have two going at once. Isn't that a cute little size?The ingredients panel on the box has to be one of the most intimidating and truthful lists ever. I felt like I was reading the small print on a contract, what with the parentheses and brackets- inside-of-parentheses. Every single ingredient, whether it be in the cake, the preserved fruits, or the enriched flour, is there for all to see. This is a full-disclosure list of ingredients. That being said, I didn't find anything too horrible besides the expected chemicals in the preserved fruit, margarine instead of butter, and artificial butter flavor to make up for it. The list also included a delightful little ingredient named "Sheri-rumco Flavor." I'm guessing this gives a . . . hmmmm . . . sherry- or rum-like flavor? In any case, I could find no evidence of this ingredient or the manufacturer of it anywhere, on all of the Internets. Go ahead, Google it. I'll wait.
Didn't find anything, did you? All right, all right, maybe you did, but not much, eh? Well, anyway, it's in this cake, along with brandy, which taken altogether give a pretty good, boozy flavor - not overly so, not underly so, just about right.
This isn't a cake for people who don't like chunks. The batter in this fruitcake serves as binder for good-sized chunks of pineapple, cherries, raisins, walnuts, and pecans. With honey and the aforementioned alcohols and alcohol flavors, one ends up with a really nice, balanced, good-tasting monastery fruitcake. I've been contentedly munching my way through a pound of it for the past couple weeks, and enjoying every slice.
I really like the small one-pound boxes. Although these may not be available year-round, for those of you who want to give just a small amount of fruitcake as a gift or hostess present(unappreciated you will be if you choose to foist a full-size fruitcake on the unappreciative masses), you may want to consider these cute little numbers.
UPDATE: Commenter JP (thanks) has also waxed poetic about this fruitcake, and pointed out that one-pounders are still available (and individually, as well) at chefshop.com. Chefshop also has a story up about the monastery.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Yep, the monks have sold out of their fruitcakes. So as JP indicated, the best place to get them is chefshop.com.
AND ANOTHER: I think we bought 'em all, folks. Looks like chefshop.com is out as well.Check the comments for any updates.