Century old 'perfectly preserved' fruit cake found in Antarctic hut

Century-Old Fruit Cake Found in Antarctic Hut

Century-Old Fruit Cake Found in Antarctic Hut

Scientists from the new Zealand heritage trust Antarctic hut at Cape Adare in hand was a odd find - a 106-year-old pie. The dessert, made by British cake makers Huntley & Palmers, was found wrapped in paper inside the remains of a tin, and was "almost edible", the organisation said in a statement.

According to a statement released by the trust, the cake probably dates back to the Terra Nova expedition of 1910-1913, led by British explorer Robert Falcon Scott.

The expedition's Northern Party took shelter in the Cape Adare hut, which had been built by Norwegian Carsten Borchgrevink's team in 1899-and left the fruitcake behind. The fruitcake is one of almost 1,500 artifacts recovered from Cape Adare.

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"Living and working in Antarctica tends to lead to a craving for high-fat, high-sugar food, and fruitcake fits the bill nicely, not to mention going very well with a cup of tea".

Trust artefacts programme manager Lizzie Meek that, although the tin was in a poor state, the cake itself was in excellent condition and looked and smelt edible, or nearly.

The trust is now planning to begin conservation work on the huts.

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Lizzie Meek, artifacts programme manager at the Trust, said it was "quite a surprise" to find the fruitcake, which sat among the last handful of corroded tins set to be restored.

The permit the trust was granted to collect the artefacts stipulates that all items must be returned to the site after conservation.

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