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Random trivia: The fruitcake legacy

Fruitcake should be shared at holiday events, but

Fruitcake should be shared at holiday events, but not regifted. (Credit: Newsday, 1998 / Ken Spencer)

Fruitcake has long been the Rodney Dangerfield of Christmas gifts. It gets no respect.

Many blame Johnny Carson who once joked on "The Tonight Show" that there is actually only one fruitcake in the entire world, and people keep regifting it.

Russell Baker of The New York Times wrote on Christmas Day in 1983, perhaps toungue-in-cheek, perhaps not, that "when a research firm polled some 1,000 adults about what they did with fruitcake they received:

38% said they gave it away

28% actually ate it

13% used it as a doorstop

9% scattered it for the birds

4% threw it out

8% couldn't remember."

Do you like fruitcake? Have you ever tried it? Have you ever received one as a gift? Tell us about it in the comments section below. I'll go first:

Growing up in an Italian-American family, I never knew from fruitcake. We ate panettone, which was good once I picked out all the candied-fruit chunks. All my life I heard jokes about fruitcake and how awful it was, but I only had my first traditional English/American fruitcake two years ago, when my cousin, the Dallas-New York-Paris baker Michele Brown, brought one to my house on Christmas Eve. I was incredulous. A fruitcake?

But despite the reputation that had preceeded it, I was astonished. It was delicious! I polished it off almost single-handedly by the time the clock struck midnight. I'm not really sure if every fruitcake is as good as Michele's, but if they are, 72 percent of those polled don't know what they're missing.

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