It's very old, and very cold: an ancient fruit cake discovered in Antarctica is actually still edible, although it probably wouldn't be very tasty.
Who’s hungry? Conservators with the Antarctic Heritage Trust out of New Zealand have found a 100-year-old fruit cake in Antarctica’s oldest building, and they say it’s actually still edible.
Specifically, they found it in a hut on Cape Adare. It was wrapped in paper and is actually in “excellent condition” — certainly playing into the indestructible reputation of fruit cakese in general. The trust says that it even looks and smells edible, according to a National Georgraphic report.
They think it probably belonged to British explorer Robert Falcon Scott, and since he died in 1912, that would make it well over a hundred years old. His expedition’s Northern Party took shelter in this hut and probably left the fruit cake behind.
“Made by Huntley & Palmers, the fruit cake is still wrapped in paper and encased in the remains of a tin-plated iron alloy tin,” the statement from the Antarctic Heritage Trust reads. “The cake probably dates to the Cape Adare-based Northern Party of Scott’s Terra Nova expedition (1910 – 1913) as it has been documented that Scott took this particular brand of cake with him at that time. Although the tin was in poor condition, the cake itself looked and smelt (almost) edible. Conservation treatment involved rust removal, chemical stabilisation and coating of the tin remnants. Deacidification of the tin label and some physical repair to the torn paper wrapper and tin label was also carried out. The cake itself was in excellent condition.”