The whole world loves a fruitcake

Published 7:43 AM ET, Wed December 9, 2015
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Holiday fruitcake gets a decidedly bad rap. Johnny Carson joked that there is only one fruitcake in the world, and it keeps getting regifted from person to person each Christmas. Calvin Trillin wrote that "nobody in the United States has ever bought a fruitcake for himself." Nonetheless, fruitcake exists in many forms worldwide and is a traditional holiday and wedding treat. Click through to read more about the treat we love to hate. Shutterstock
Stollen is Germany's addition to the fruitcake canon. It contains dried fruit and nuts and is dusted or glazed with sugar. The bread-like loafs are especially popular at Christmastime. Shutterstock
Panettone is the dome-shaped Christmas bread that originated in Italy but is a favorite throughout Europe. Studded with raisins and candied citrus, the sweet dough tends to be a little dry, so some folks soak theirs in wine or rum. Shutterstock
Black cake is a specialty fruitcake made in Trinidad, Jamaica and other Caribbean countries. Recipes include lots of rum-soaked fruit and spices such as allspice, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. Shutterstock
Chinese mooncakes are made to be enjoyed in conjunction with the Mid-Autumn Festival, a lunar celebration. They are typically round with script and designs on top. The pastries can be filled with fruit or bean paste, chocolate and even savory ingredients such as an egg to symbolize the moon. Shutterstock
Fruitcake is known as a traditional wedding cake style in the United Kingdom. In fact, a slice of royal wedding cake from the marriage of Price William and Kate Middleton was auctioned off in 2014 for $7,500. Slices of the fruitcake, made by Fiona Cairns and stored in a presentation tin, were presented to guests and dignitaries at the April 29, 2011, wedding. Noam Galai/WireImage/Getty Images
Everybody knows that fruitcake lasts forever and doesn't need refrigeration. Late-night host Jay Leno even ate a 125-year-old slice on air in 1993. A 65-year-old piece of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip's wedding cake brought $2,730 at auction in 2013. Do you think the winner ate it?
Speaking of old cake, Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin passed on this slice of pineapple fruitcake that took flight during their 1969 mission. It came back down to Earth and is now on display in the Smithsonian. Eric Long/National Air and Space Museum/Smithsonian Institution