No holiday food is more ridiculed than the fruitcake.
Let’s start with the fruit: the cloyingly sweet, brighter-than-life lumps of green, yellow and red that dare you to guess their identity.
Then, the booze, often so overpowering that it’s all you taste.
Inexplicably, the crumbly dryness. (Maybe that’s what the booze is for.)
Everyone knows there’s a lot of bad fruitcake out there. And that creates a dilemma for Ciji Wagner, chef at Drafting Table near Logan Circle, who has a fruitcake she hopes to put on the menu soon. But will anyone order it?
“That’s my conundrum, figuring out how to convince people that it’s worth getting,” says Wagner, who began with a family recipe and adapted it over the years. She says she’s hoping her reputation — she’s a former pastry chef — will help sell the cake to skeptics.
Skeptics, after all, are legion. YouTube is packed with videos of people destroying fruitcakes in creative ways. A town in Colorado has a yearly fruitcake flinging event. There are fruitcake jokes, which — if you ask fruitcake manufacturers — are at the root of their PR challenge.