Conservators from Antarctic Heritage Trust have discovered a 100-year-old fruit cake on Cape Adare in Antarctica. British explorer Robert Falcon Scott likely brought the cake with him to Antarctica, where it's stayed in "excellent condition."
The cake was made by the British biscuit company Huntley & Palmers and sent to Antarctica during a 1910-13 Terra Nova expedition.
Lizzie Meek, artifacts program manager at the Trust, said: “Fruitcake was a popular item in English society at the time, and it remains popular today. Finding such a perfectly preserved fruitcake in amongst the last handful of unidentified and severely corroded tins was quite a surprise."
Despite looking “edible,” the researchers were not permitted to taste the cake for ethical reasons.
And though its paper had begun to deteriorate, the cake itself looked "like new" and rather tasty. Unfortunately, it didn't smell quite as good, with an odor of rancid butter.
Since May 2016, the New Zealand-based Antarctic Heritage Trust, along with the Canterbury Museum Lab, has been preserving artifacts found at Cape Adare. Around 1,500 artifacts have been recovered since last July. The artifacts include tools and clothing and, according to Meeks, some "badly deteriorated" meat and fish, and "rather nice-looking" jams.
Everything they find, fruitcake included, is restored and returned to its original resting place.
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