Published: Fri, August 11, 2017
Medicine | By Megan Pierce

100-Year-Old Antarctic Fruitcake Is 'Almost' Edible

100-Year-Old Antarctic Fruitcake Is 'Almost' Edible

Conservators for the trust said the tin was rusted, but the cake (made by British biscuit company Huntley & Palmers) still looked and smelled edible, Lizzie Meek, the manager of the program's artefacts, said in a statement.

The well-preserved cake was still wrapped in the paper it was packed in all those years ago, and what was left of its storage tin.

"It's an ideal high-energy food for Antarctic conditions, and is still a favourite item on modern trips to the ice".

The Antarctic Heritage Trust is now carrying out conservation work on the huts that would have been vital shelter for early expeditions, focusing on the Cape Adare area, the north-easternmost peninsula in East Antarctica.

The delicacy made by British cake makers Huntley and Palmers was still wrapped in paper
The delicacy made by British cake makers Huntley and Palmers was still wrapped in paper

Conservators from Antarctic Heritage Trust believe they have found a 100-year-old fruitcake among artefacts from an expedition that took place between 1910 and 1913.

"The cake probably dates to the Cape Adare-based Northern Party of Scott's Terra Nova expedition", the trust said. The cake is stayed in "excellent condition".

The cake will now be preserved and returned to the hut once the structure itself is restored.

The cake was found among other artifacts in a building at Cape Adare, the first buildings erected on the continent. It was found in one of the oldest huts in Antarctica. While the tin had begun to deteriorate, the cake was in near-perfect condition and, according the researchers, still looked "almost edible". Unfortunately, upon arrival, they discovered that Roald Amundsen's Norwegian team had beaten them to it by 34 days. Scott's entire team perished on the return journey from the pole.

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