100-year-old Antarctic fruitcake looks (almost) edible

Fruitcake Antarctica

According to Antarctic Heritage Trust, the cake is believed to date to Robert Falcon Scott's Terra Nova Expedition between 1910 and 1913.

A team from the Canterbury Museum in Christchurch has recently finished a 14-month project conserving nearly 1,500 artifacts from Cape Adare. Its Northern Party may have taken shelter in the hut and left the cake behind. Explaining its presence she continued: "It's an ideal high-energy food for Antarctic conditions, and is still a favourite item on modern trips to the Ice". The AHT is now planning the conservation of these historic structures, which have been exposed to Antarctic conditions for over a hundred years. "It looks like new, which is quite fantastic, it doesn't quite smell new, it smells a little bit of rancid butter, but it looks attractive", she said. The cake, found inside a badly degraded tin box, was in remarkably good condition, appearing nearly edible. "There is no doubt the extreme cold in Antarctica has assisted its preservation", Meeks said. "Though the container was found in poor condition, the cake itself "looked" and smelled "(almost) edible", AHT said. They were built by Norwegian Carsten Borchgrevink's expedition in 1899 and later used by Scott's party in 1911.

After the procedures, the cake and all the artifacts found will be returned to the site. The Terra Nova expedition was primarily scientific, but Scott also wanted to be the first person to reach the South Pole.

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"Great God! this is an bad place and terrible enough for us to have laboured to it without reward of priority", Scott wrote in his diary.

They really could have done with that cake.

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