Thursday, November 10, 2005

Urban Legend Debunked

According to the WSJ (subscription required), four fruitcake manufacturers "recently petitioned the Food and Drug Administration to cut the serving size for fruitcake by two-thirds. . . . [Now a] serving size in that category is about 4.4 ounces and packs over 400 calories. The petitioners want the FDA to slice the fruitcake size to 1.5 ounces, or about 160 calories."

According to the article:
[T]he fruitcake makers maintain that the current serving size -- a wedge about two inches high and two inches thick -- is "overindulgent and probably unhealthy." Adds Bob McNutt, president of Collin Street Bakery in Corsicana, Texas, "Our fruitcake is like a fine wine. You take a taste, it kind of leaves you with this long, nice finish."

The bakers' 13-page petition calls on the FDA to "describe fruitcake as the food commonly known as fruitcake." It underscores the product's uniqueness ("Gertrude Stein would say 'A fruitcake is a fruitcake is a fruitcake!' "). It also clarifies who eats the concoction ("Fruitcake is consumed by all populations, but rarely by infants."), and it distinguishes fruitcake from other high-density cakes. ("No products are 'closely related' to fruitcakes. They are sui generis and for decades have been recognized by all population groups in the U.S.")
The urban legend debunked?--There are really only a few fruitcakes in existence at any one time. Those fruitcakes are never eaten, merely passed as "gifts" from one family to another.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I don't know if that was an urban legend so much as a longtime running gag on the Tonight Show.