While fruit cakes in various forms have a long history, there is even a 2000-year-old recipe, the cakes with which we are familiar today are normally associated with holidays, in the U.S. mainly with Christmas. How this holiday association started isn’t known, but likely it had to do with the cost of all of the dried fruits, the time it takes to rehydrate the fruit, and the ability to purchase fruit cakes online.
Rehydration often means soaking the fruit itself in some type of alcoholic beverage, brandy and rum are traditional favorites, for days, occasionally topping the fruit off with a touch more liquor as it is absorbed.
Many people have objections to leaving garishly colored fruit laying around their house in alcohol, particularly if children are nearby, since a tendency to grab a piece of dried pineapple or a bright red cherry is often unpreventable, although younger children usually spit the strong-tasting bit of fruit out immediately.
However, with the advent of faster shipping methods and more bakeries advertising on the internet, buying fruit cakes online is rapidly replacing the time consuming and often expensive idea of making them from scratch.
If the taste of some type of alcohol, rum often works well, combined with the fruitcake is still desired then a similar experience to the cakes with the fruit rehydrated in alcohol can be somewhat replicated by opening the “tin” which contains the fruitcake, covering the cake with cheesecloth or paper towel, and then soaking the cloth in the alcohol, and closing the tin again. This procedure can be repeated once a day for a week or so, depending on the desired strength and flavor and the end result can make distinguishing the homemade fruitcake from the fruit cake online almost impossible, and in many cases, the buying of the fruit cakes online is better!