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Viggen

Roman Fruitcake

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...who can confirm this?

 

The oldest reference anyone has been able to find about fruitcake dates all the way back to the Roman Empire in the first century A.D. (and no, the fruitcake your Aunt Minnie gave you last Christmas was not that old. Be nice). That first recipe included pomegranate seeds, pine nuts, and raisins mixed into a barley mash.

 

http://toledoblade.c...IST47/101219397

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I need to check my reference books but it sounds like someone may have been browsing Apicus again...

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I found this reference to cakes in the ancient world on the so-called Food Museum website.

 

Ancient Egypt was the first culture to show evidence of true skill in baking, making many kinds of bread including some sweetened with honey. The Greeks had a form of cheesecake and the Romans developed early versions of fruitcakes with raisins, nuts and other fruits.

 

The Penguin Companion to Food is mentioned as the source.

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Wikipedia backs Viggen's find:

 

The earliest recipe from ancient Rome lists pomegranate seeds, pine nuts, and raisins that were mixed into barley mash.

 

However, it doesn't cite a source.

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Wikipedia backs Viggen's find:

 

The earliest recipe from ancient Rome lists pomegranate seeds, pine nuts, and raisins that were mixed into barley mash.

 

However, it doesn't cite a source.

 

I think that I would go further in saying that it does not cite any 'appropriate' source as the opening paragraph of the Wikidefinition states:

 

The earliest recipe from ancient Rome lists pomegranate seeds, pine nuts, and raisins that were mixed into barley mash. In the Middle Ages, honey, spices, and preserved fruits were added, and the name "fruitcake" was first used, from a combination of the words "fruit" (Latin: fructus, Old French: frui), and "cake" (Old Norse: kaka, Middle English: kechel)

 

Wikipedia cites the above definitions of fruitcake as from Dictionary.com but if you follow the link none of the definiitons mentioned appear there so it is anyone's guess where they actually come from. :(

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Wikipedia cites the above definitions of fruitcake as from Dictionary.com but if you follow the link none of the definiitons mentioned appear there so it is anyone's guess where they actually come from. :(

 

I noticed the Dictionary.com citation, and that particular source's lack of quoted facts (something which I shall endevour to put right at lunch time), however I read that as relating to the second sentence, rather than the first (which was the 'Roman' one.)

 

In summary - neither Wikipedia nor Dictionary.com are of any use to us in this respect.

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Wikipedia now updated!

 

Interestingly enough, the Yoplait article states First Century AD, which the Wiki doesn't. It's as if they have both found the same source.

Edited by GhostOfClayton

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Wikipedia now updated!

 

Interestingly enough, the Yoplait article states First Century AD, which the Wiki doesn't. It's as if they have both found the same source.

Thanks for sorting the lack of citation issue out GoC.

 

BTW is it worth mentioning that citations 3 and 4 for 'fruitcake history' in the same article seem to be locked in edit mode?

 

2nd BTW I found a website dating from 2004 which seems to contain similar claims to the original Wikipedia article referenced from a couple of other sites so well may have been used as the Wikipedia source but unfortunately again without citation :(

 

http://whatscookingamerica.net/History/Cakes/Fruitcake.htm

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BTW is it worth mentioning that citations 3 and 4 for 'fruitcake history' in the same article seem to be locked in edit mode?

 

Not really sure what the contributor was trying to achieve with that, but I've fixed it, anyway.

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...as this thread turned out to be more informative then i thought, i renamed the topic and moved it to the Humanitas Folder...

 

cheers and thanks for all the answers so far..

viggen

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2nd BTW I found a website dating from 2004 which seems to contain similar claims to the original Wikipedia article referenced from a couple of other sites so well may have been used as the Wikipedia source but unfortunately again without citation :(

 

http://whatscookingamerica.net/History/Cakes/Fruitcake.htm

 

Interesting, but no mention of the first century AD. My money's on Aurelia's 'Penguin Companion to Food' for the original secondary source, but what was the primary?

 

PS 'original secondary source'. Is that an oxymoron?

Edited by GhostOfClayton

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2nd BTW I found a website dating from 2004 which seems to contain similar claims to the original Wikipedia article referenced from a couple of other sites so well may have been used as the Wikipedia source but unfortunately again without citation :(

 

http://whatscookingamerica.net/History/Cakes/Fruitcake.htm

 

Interesting, but no mention of the first century AD. My money's on Aurelia's 'Penguin Companion to Food' for the original secondary source, but what was the primary?

 

PS 'original secondary source'. Is that an oxymoron?

 

That's a good question. I guess we would have to get hold of a copy of the Penguin Companion to find out. Although it might just give us another "original secondary source". ;)

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Checking through my Roman related cookery books although I do not have the Latin English text of Apicius by Flower and Rosenblaum (1958) The Roman Cookery Book I do have a couple of books which include a few references to

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