25 November 2010

Review: Kirkland Traditional Fruitcake

I took advantage of a good friend's Costco membership and purchased the WHOPPING 3.5 pound Kirkland Traditional Fruitcake. The cake cost $12.99. See a problem there already? I do. The Lambert fruitcake, to jump to the other end of the spectrum, is $50 for 16 ounces. In a previous post, I had computed the average cost per pound of fruitcake to be about $18. That's per pound. This cake costs that much for 3.5 pounds. I don’t like where this is going.

The cake is packaged in plastic, very different than the usual tin or box. I think the goal here is eye appeal, if huge chunks of nuts and red and green things are appealing:

I must say, I found the walnut and pecan halves on top of the fruitcake appealing--nuts ain't cheap. But they were joined by those nasty cherries, and this topping was mounded on top of the cake. It literally took up half the height of the cake--the cake was somewhere buried below. It made it difficult to cut and eat.

As to the ingredients:

Pretty typical, nothing wonderful, and a few preservatives to boot. For you citron haters, there were none, only those cherries and pineapple.

On to the cake itself. This cake is gooey. Gooey, gooey, gooey. It has the unappealing color of clay or peanut butter. Many cakes do not contain a lot of batter; the cake is used merely to hold together the other ingredients--the fruit and nuts. This is that type of cake, but not in a good way. The cake part tasted uncooked and grainy. The fruits and nuts were about the same size as what's on top of the cake, which I found a bit too large. It was cloyingly sweet with no other flavor besides the fruit.

This cake, my friends, is the epitome of why people hate fruitcake. Haven't I said it enough? The mass-produced fruitcakes, the ones that are stacked in grocery stores this time of year, are, in general, made of low-quality ingredients and they flat out don't taste good. They are made to look like the idea of a fruitcake, without having the actual good taste of a fruitcake.

And yes, to all you haters, fruitcakes can taste good. If one of these mass-produced cakes has been your only experience of fruitcake, well then, I can understand the hatred and revulsion. I feel it too, towards this kind of cake.

So there it is:

3.25 pounds of fruitcake, on its way to the garbage. There is no reason to continue eating this one.

21 November 2010

Review: Kirkland Fruitcake


Just had to get that out there. Review coming soon, after I choke down another piece in order to give it one more chance to taste good. I'm not hopeful, though.

13 November 2010

Alabama Fruitcake

Just received correspondence from a reader who is selling fruitcakes baked from a family recipe that he is selling in small batches. I have my list of fruitcakes pretty defined for a couple of weeks at the least (really, how much fruitcake can one girl eat? I have 2 on the way), but I just checked out his website and it looks interesting. I can't speak at all for this fruitcake but thought I'd pass it along if anyone wants to check Alabama Fruitcake out.

07 November 2010

Anyone know of a fruitcake that uses whole wheat flour?

I was asked by a reader if I knew of any cakes that use whole wheat flour. This obviously would affect the texture, I would think, and doesn't sound terribly appetizing to me, but to his point, would make the cake healthier. If anyone has any ideas, please post in the comments!

04 November 2010

Cabela's fruitcake?

Seems a little weird that Cabela's, the outdoor store, has a fruitcake, but indeed they do. However, allow me to do a little detective work on this. Hmmm, Grandma's fruitcake. From a 1917 recipe? Since they're not specifying exactly whose Grandma they're talking about, I would say that this is the Grandma from which they are getting their fruitcakes. If you look at the photo on the Cabela's page and the one from my review, you'll see that they look very similar.

I guess there's nothing inherently wrong with Cabela's selling a mass-produced fruitcake--certainly I don't expect Cabela's to be busy baking fruitcakes during the holiday season. This is just a cautionary message to all:  it's probably best to buy your fruitcakes from a trustworthy source, not from the same place you'd buy ammunition.