07 December 2019

Fruitcake review: Rustic Bakery Fruit & Nut cake (aka Fruitcake)

Hello everyone! I blame social media and the fact that I can barely even concentrate on an Instagram or Twitter feed for my lack of posting here. But nevertheless, my pursuit of good fruitcake continues, and will continue forever.

So there I was in Whole Foods, picking up, I don't know, olive oil or something, and subliminally my brain was telling me "the items you've selected will not yet cause you to gasp in shock at the amount of your bill! And lo, what did I just then see? The below:

I peered closer. I had seen a whole towering display of panettone, but this unassuming loaf looked like....could it be? I  leaned in for a closer look: 

Yup. They're trying to keep it on the down low, but that there, friends, is fruitcake. 

The name of the bakery is Rustic Bakery out of Petaluma, an organic bakery. It's a beautiful box and they have a nice description on the side describing this cake as something that will "vanquish forever fruitcake's bad reputation!" Bravo!

The price was around $18.99 for a 1 pound cake, give or take a dollar. That's not a bad price for the ingredients, which contain NO preservatives, along with: whiskey, apricots, cranberries, cherries, raisins, pistachios, hazelnuts, pecans, almonds and orange zest. All fruits are dried, not candied. And I say again NO preservatives--nothing bad in this cake (and by bad I mean artificial or food science-y--of course there's butter). 

Here it is out of the box:

And again out of the paper. Looks like the loaf is baked and packaged in the same paper pan:

Finally, a slice:

This cake is not chock-full of fruit and nuts like you may see in a more traditional fruitcake. They are there but there's a lot of cake along with it. I'm sure that's how they can price it at that price point--fruits and nuts are expensive!

That being said, this is a delicious cake. I would put it into a "fruitcake for beginners" category, as it tastes very much like a quick bread. The cake is delicious, buttery and a little crumby as you see, but it tastes really nice. You can taste the whiskey, which elevates it a bit from your usual breakfast bread, but it's not at a smack-you-over-the-head-level that you might get in something more hard core.

I am very pleased with this little loaf. If you're someone who loves fruitcake,  and you want to convince your family that they would like it as well, this would be an excellent choice to bring to a holiday party. And it's right there in the bakery section of Whole Foods, at a price that won't kill you. (Obviously I don't know the extent of Whole Foods' distribution of this to their stores, but it's worth a hunt).

I agree with Rustic Bakery. The cake is very nice, and this--and ones like it--WILL vanquish fruitcake's bad reputation.

Epilogue: when I reached the checkout with my small basket of, like, 4 items, I was shocked to find my bill to be $49.50. That's more like it, Whole Foods. Stay Whole Paycheck there, fellas. 

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