100-year-old fruitcake discovered, experts say may still edible, nearly

Henrietta Brewer
August 11, 2017

The fruitcake is one of almost 1,500 artifacts recovered from Cape Adare. But the most surprising is definitely the century-old fruit cake. The cake, found inside a badly degraded tin box, was in remarkably good condition, appearing nearly edible. The expedition was led by the legendary British explorer, Robert Falcon Scott.

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. They found it inside an iron tin and wrapped in paper.

Though, according to employees of the Fund, the tin box in which lay the dessert was in pretty bad shape, the pie looked and smelled "almost like edible".


"Finding such a perfectly preserved fruitcake in among the last handful of unidentified and severely corroded tins was quite a surprise", program manager Lizzie Meek said. "It's an ideal high-energy food for Antarctic conditions, and is still a favorite item on modern trips to the Ice".

Tragically, the cake may have survived, but Scott's entire party died on the return journey from the pole.

A fruitcake was found in the coldest and driest place on Earth, Antarctica.


"Deacidification of the tin label and some physical fix to the torn paper wrapper and tin label was carried out", the Trust said.

After being treated the cake, along with all artefacts found, will be returned to the site.

Conservationists working at the Antarctic Heritage Trust have discovered a 106-year-old fruitcake in an old hut at Cape Adre.


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