Tuesday, December 14, 2010

An Undiscouraged Fruitcake

Hawaiian Fruitcake The Rotarian Nov 1923
The Rotarian, November 1923
This charming advertisement dates from 1923, and what I particularly like about it is the text. It seems to have been written by someone who is very keen on Love's Hawaiian Fruit Cake - someone who perhaps identifies a little too much with its ingredients:

Contains all the fundamentals required of any good fruit cake - and something else. Rich, fragrant, tropical fruits! Not tropical fruits that have suffered the indignity of of being picked too green, handled too much or otherwise discouraged, but the ripe, luscious morsels picked from trees almost at our bakery door.

Don't you just love that? I'm trying to imagine what these discouraged pineapples, bananas and coconuts must look like. Oh, they are sad! They suffer when you mistreat them. They hate looking green! See how they are creeping up on Clara Bow there in the miniature lei  - waiting for the right moment. They will protest! They must! It is for the good of all the coconuts. And pineapples. And bananas (unless they are off writing guide books for teens*, of course).

Would such a fruit cake make a good Christmas present?

This is not a trick question, folks. The answer must be YES. And hurry up with your order because the chef is not Superman, you know:

NOTE: Our Jean Babtiste** Tampon says he can't make more than a million of these cakes, so order yours NOW. We'll see that it reaches your friends at just the right moment.***

Oh, Jean Babtiste (whose wondrous name I am adding to my list of The Most Fabulous Names In History - I do collect names, actually) - only a million? Oui, he is only one man - and there are just so many guavas he can encourage before he simply cannot take any more. Sacre Bleu, it is not right to make too much cake! Only one million cakes in one million "attractive metal boxes." And not one crumb more!

* Shameless (and, one might say, undiscouraged) plug for other blog of retroactivity!

**Yes, it is spelled Babtiste, not Baptiste.

***How do the Undiscouraged Fruitcakes know just when the right moment is? Is it when your friends start wishing aloud that they had a nice doorstop? Is it when they start talking about their love of pineapples? When, oh when?

10 comments:

James MacAdam said...

Love makes the best ingredient for any dessert, but I'll always associate "discourage" with "fruit cake."

Barbara said...

I would discourage any fruit from being made into a cake by a Tampon.

IludiumPhosdex said...

Nowadays, about the closest that Love's would have for overzealous promotional zeal in the mail-order fruitcake department would have to be two Texas-bassed bakeries; viz., the Collin Street Bakery out of Corsicana and theEilenberger Bakery out of Palestine.

Richard @ The Bewildered Brit said...

I always do my best never to maltreat any fruit--especially not tropical fruit. I try to make sure they have the best seat on the sofa and they're always in charge of the remote control.

Lidian said...

James - Yes, it can be discouraging. Also stale.

Barbara - Well, yes, quite.

IludiumPhosdex - Ah, the Collin Street Bakery...I've actually had some of their fruitcake, It wasn't bad, either.

Richard - And you will be rewarded with delicious fruitcakes for your kindness!

Bill said...

"...otherwise discouraged"
How sad. Fruit should be happy. There must be some way I can help.

Eric said...

Wow... this post just made me realize how many fruit names signify being out of your mind. 'Go bananas' 'Coco loco, crazy as a coconut'. But, sadly, I think pineapple is left out of the fruit salad of insanity. I worry because it might be a bit discouraged?

~~louise~~ said...

Glad to "hear" the kitchen is back in Kitchen-Retro!

Just in case I don't "see" you before the New Year (I should be back to blogging by then) I'm wishing you and yours a shiny and new holiday season!!! Louise

Lidian said...

Bill - Yes, I agree. I am going to try and cheer up a grapefruit that has been sitting on the counter looking depressed for the last week.

Eric - I am sure that pineapples feel left out, especially during the holidays. Hmmm - you've just given me an idea for my next post (well, the one after the next one, I already posted the next one).

louise - All the best to you too! Yes, I decided to put the wacky retro stuff on Doubletake, it seems to go better over there. I look forward to reading your wonderful celebratory blog in the New Year!

Carol Yates Wilkerson said...

Visiting you to wish you a very Merry Christmas and the Happiest of New Years. I just posted a recipe on my blog today about fruit salad, but it wasn't anywhere near as hilarious as this fruitcake. I have three overripe bananas hanging in the kitchen and I fully expect them to go "kerthunk" in the middle of the night. Or, they may sneak into my bedroom and attack me...scary.