I don't often do my fruitcake shopping on a whim. But this time of year can lead to fruitcake-buying-on-a-whim, and as I perused my local supermarket, I came upon this:
Well, what the heck, I review fruitcakes, let's take a look at the one that's just laying there, waiting to be purchased, right? This fruitcake, 16 ounces of it, cost me $4.99, plus I think I got some extra savings on it through the grocery store. Obviously, no shipping.
When I googled "Village Fair fruitcake," I was pointed directly to the website of Benson's Bakery, which makes me happy, as this was one of the fruitcakes I had on my list to review. Although this is a southern bakery (hailing from Bogart, Georgia), the quality of this cake places it decidedly into the Mass-Produced category.
Here's a photo of the fruitcake itself, in all of its pre-cut glory:
The fruits and nuts include golden raisins, cherries, orange peel, pineapple, and (interestingly) dehydrated papaya, and the nuts include pecan and walnut pieces. All of this is cradled, however, in a batter filled with ingredients typical of a mass-produced product: corn syrup, partially hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup, and preservatives.
The flavor and texture is nothing fabulous. The batter is more like a pound cake batter than other cakes I've tried. The fruits and nuts are cut fairly small, to match the smallness of the cake, but it's a bit dry. Also, I think it's the dried papaya that adds an almost a gristly texture to the cake.
So, once again, this is a cake that makes me understand why so many people dislike fruitcake. As for where it should go on the rating scale . . . hmmm, I'll put it between Turnip 1 and 2 because of the interesting collection of fruit and absence of vegetables.