100-year-old Antarctic fruitcake found in '(almost) edible' condition

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

In the Antarctic found a strange discovery

Conservators from the New Zealand-run Antarctic Heritage Trust found themselves faced with this kind of a figgy phenomenon while recently excavating an abandoned hut some 2,500 miles from the South Pole.

Fruit cake was a popular treat in Britain at the time that Scott and his team were exploring the region, and he even documented that he had packed this particular brand with him.

The Trust claims the fruitcake is in "excellent condition", and apparently smells practically edible. Images of the fruitcake, as well as details about it and the restoration process, were published by the Antarctic Heritage Fund.

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The conservators believe the cake was brought by British explorer Robert Falcon Scott during the 1910-1913 Terra Nova expedition.

Although the tin was in poor condition, the cake itself looked and smelt (almost) edible.

"Deacidification of the tin label and some physical fix to the torn paper wrapper and tin label was carried out", the Trust said.

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Conservators from the Trust have been working on restoring and documenting nearly 1500 artifacts from the Cape for the past year.

Programme Manager-Artefacts Lizzie Meek said finding such a "perfectly preserved fruitcake" in a severely corroded tin was a huge surprise.

The cake was found in a hut in Cape Adare, one of the first modern human settlements on Antarctica. They were built by Norwegian Carsten Borchgrevink's expedition in 1899 and later used by Scott's party in 1911.

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But all objects taken from them - including the cake - must be returned after being spruced up, in accordance with rules governing the Antarctic Specially Protected Area.

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