13 October 2012

Vintage fruitcake

Was just perusing my highly-rated fruitcakes list for the fruitcake tasting in November, and I noticed that Robert Lambert is selling vintage fruitcakes: that is, a fruitcake that is one year old. To some, "vintage fruitcake" could mean "old stock." Many fruitcakes are already aged a certain number of days or weeks in order to mellow or improve the flavors, so presumably that's the point of this one.

Unfortunately in my household a fruitcake never sees its one year birthday; they get eaten too quickly. So I don't have much experience with aged fruitcakes.

The idea of a vintage fruitcake tickles my fancy.  The fact that a fruitcake can age and improve speaks to its history of being a rich cake that preserved the harvest: the result and memory of abundance. Many baked goods are freshest on the day they're made  - "day-old" goods are sold at a discount. But this cake is being sold with a premium price tag, $10 more than the "non-vintage" cakes.

What are your thoughts on a vintage fruitcake? Do you like the idea? Would you want to eat  one? What do you think it would be like? Do you age the fruitcakes you buy?


smartygirl said...

if aged a year means a whole year of regular sprinklings of booze, it could well be worth that extra $10!

Isabelle said...

Agreed; I've written to Robert Lambert to find out exactly what "aging" entails. Will let you know!

Gregory Lee said...

I read over the Wikipedia entry for Château d'Yquem to get some sense of the possibilities of improving a sweet (like fruitcake) by long aging. I guess it could work, conceivably, if the fruitcake was prevented from drying out. Most likely, though, is that it's no more than a marketing gimmick. I hope you can arrange your test to include side by side tasting of vintage and non-vintage product.

Isabelle said...

Great idea, Greg!

Thom said...

I've had aged fruitcake and I can taste the difference! Just as wine realizes more levels of flavor and distinction, fruitcakes do as well. I've just ordered a Lambert aged Dark Fruitcake...can't wait! I looked in his media section and these fruitcakes have really scored some serious praise! Thanks for this post - great heads-up!