Explorers with the Antarctic Heritage Trust recently discovered an exceptionally preserved fruitcake, one that is some 100 years old and which proves just how resistant this dessert can be.
The fruitcake, a popularly unpopular food which finds its way of appearing at most holidays, is nonetheless a very useful product for expeditions, say the researchers.
Exceptionally Preserved Fruitcake Still Looks Edible 100 Years Later
According to the team of researchers, this recently discovered fruitcake is anything but new. It is estimated as being some 100 years old. The fruitcake seemingly dates back to the Terra Nova Expedition, which set off in 1910 and lasted till 1913. It was launched by Robert Falcon Scott, the British explorer, and his Cape Adare-based Northern Party.
The hundred years old fruitcake was discovered in a tin-plated iron alloy tin. This, although in a rough shape, still revealed its producer. So this long lasting dessert was made by a now gone brand, Huntley & Palmers.
The Antarctic Trust Fund stated that “Although the tin was in poor condition, the cake itself looked and smelt (almost) edible.”
It also pointed out that “It’s [the fruitcake] an ideal high-energy food for Antarctic conditions, and is still a favorite item on modern trips to the Ice.”
This exceptionally preserved fruitcake required to extra conservation work, but its tin container was another thing altogether. It required a rust removal process and also a chemical stabilization and coating of its remnants. The container also had to be deacidified.
This long lasting fruitcake and its tin container are just one of the almost 1,500 artifacts discovered by the Trust in Cape Adare. A team of four conservation specialists has been working on preserving the discovered remains.
After finishing with these artifacts, the team is now looking to begin the conservation work on the Cape Adare buildings themselves. Initially built in 1899 by the expedition of the Norwegian Carsten Borchgrevink, Captain Scott later used them after his arrival there in 1911.
The huts are of historical importance as they are held as being the first buildings raised in Antarctica and the only examples left of this initial established trace of humanity on the icy continent.
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