World Hundred-year-old fruitcake found in Antarctic hut

05:40  10 august  2017
05:40  10 august  2017 Source:   msn.com

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Manufactured by the now defunct Huntley & Palmers biscuit company, the fruitcake was discovered in a long-abandoned hut at Cape Adare—an important landing site and base camp used by early Antarctic That’s one nasty dessert—whether it be a hundred years old or fresh out of the oven.

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An ancient fruitcake, thought to be at least 116 years old, has been discovered in an "as new" condition in a remote Antarctic hut.

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Famously indestructible, a fruitcake has withstood a century in the coldest, windiest, and driest place on Earth. Conservators with the New Zealand-based Antarctic Heritage Trust recently found the 100- year - old dessert in Antarctica 's oldest building, a hut on Cape Adare.

Researchers from the Antarctic Heritage Trust turned up this 100- year - old fruitcake in a Cape Adare hut . From their report: Made by Huntley & Palmers, the fruit cake is still wrapped in paper and encased in the remains of a tin-plated iron alloy tin.

Conservators from the Antarctic Heritage Trust in Christchurch, New Zealand, believe the delicacy was brought to Cape Adare by Robert Falcon Scott's northern party in 1911, and preserved by the freezing conditions ever since.

The trust's artefacts manager, Lizzie Meek, says her team, who are working to conserve several historic huts in the area, were surprised to find the cake still looked edible.

"It looks like new which is quite fantastic, it doesn't quite smell quite like new, it smells a little bit of rancid butter, but it looks beautiful," she says.

"The conditions down there are obviously frozen for most of the year, and that has preserved the cake really, really well, and on top of that it's been protected by the tin, and while the tin has almost entirely disintegrated the outside atmosphere hadn't got the cake."

What the cake tastes like after a century on the ice will remain a mystery, as it's unethical for conservators to taste-test their finds.

"The fruit cake will go back to where it came from on a shelf in the hut and I guess the story is out there and visitors to the site will be able to see that tin," Ms Meek says.

"Cape Adare gets regularly visited by cruise ships who tour the Ross Sea region, it's a very popular stopping place for them. It's difficult to get to, but a few hundred people every year get to those huts."

The project has just wrapped up after a 14-month effort to recover 1464 artefacts, including tools, clothing and other food items.

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