Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Food by Mail: Happy Birthday, Here's a Fruit Cake

Fruit Cake -- Collin Street Bakery, Corsicana, TX
Collin Street Bakery

To say we give each other "interesting" birthday gifts would be an understatement.  Some years, they include an aptly-punned wine cozy and a year's supply of Skinnygirl vodka.  Other years, they feature a book filled with fake quotes by our hero in Gin O'Clock, the Queen of England.

This year, Ginger gave Vodka a fruit cake.
Interesting Tidbit: Vodka's Birthday Is No Where Near Christmas
Now, before you think Ginger has really begun scraping the bottom of the barrel in gift creativity, there is a method to her madness.  Said fruit cake, from the Collin Street Bakery in Corsicana, Texas, was featured by Marc Murphy on the SEASON'S EATINGS episode of Best Thing I Ever Ate.  And being that we have yet to procure a single mail-order item in  an effort to complete our eating mission, a fruit cake seemed like a good place to start.
Overeating Via Mail
In a feat of timing, the fruit cake arrived on Vodka's doorstep a mere couple of days before the two of us were to venture down the shore for a weekend of eating, drinking, and generally avoiding the sun.  For this reason, without opening the package, Vodka packed it in her belongings, along with other necessary items like Elaine Stritch's documentary (may she and her vodka stingers rest in peace).
"I'm Packed for the Shore" --Picture Text Sent to Ginger
For the record, carting a fruit cake up and down the eastern seaboard is not exactly a stellar plan.
This Thing Weighs Two Tons
In a way that seems quite impossible based on the size of the box, this fruit cake is beyond heavy -- if it were 30 pounds, we wouldn't be surprised.  By the time we reach our destination, Vodka is convinced her shoulder will never work again, and we are afraid of what we will find once we open the box.
Merry Christmas to Us
Fear strikes us yet again when we see not one, but two sets of nutrition facts plastered on the sides.  One side (the Texas side, presumably) states that this fruit cake contains 8 servings at 410 calories each.  The other side (the Rest of the Country side) says that there are 20 servings at 160 calories each.

Proof of This Madness -- 20 Servings...
...Versus 8?!
Unfortunately, this is just the first bit of confusion that strikes us about the cake, as when we finally open the package (after a bus ride filled with cups of contraband vodka and a tipsy run around Wawa which resulted in the purchase of cheese slices, ice cream, soft pretzels, hoagies, and at least 14 types of chips), we find an entire booklet of instructions about how to consume the thing.
"Guide to Collin Street Bakery Products" -- They Require a GUIDE
Call us crazy, Collin Street Bakery, but we think by this age, we know how to eat cake.
We've Had Ample Practice.  For Examples, Please See This Blog
Among the plethora of directions, Collin Street includes the fact that freezing or refrigerating the cake makes it easier to slice (up to and including what type of knife to use in both circumstances), and they also specify that the fruit cake can be toasted for breakfast and topped with a pat of butter.

In other words, "Here is how to give our cake some flavor."
Way to Have Faith In Your Own Products
Forever diligent, we refrigerate the cake, and the next day, we attempt to consume it for breakfast.

And let's just say it's a good thing we have pretzels and Doritos to eat as backup.
Somebody Help Us
The cake is dense -- denser than any cake should ever be, in our opinion, and packed with dried fruits and nuts in nearly every cranny.  
We See the Fruit -- Now Where Is the Cake?
Now granted, we are not exactly connoisseurs of fruit cake, being that we've never tried the stuff, but if Marc Murphy thinks this one is special, it must be pretty good, right?

It is not.  
Not Worth the Weight
Instead, this fruit cake is sweet.  Overwhelmingly sweet.  So sweet that we can barely discern any other flavor.  But even beyond the sweet taste, what really puts us off is the texture, which manages to be both slimy and sticky at the same time.

Talk about 410 wasted calories.
We Ate All 20 Servings -- Or Minus-Zero
We decide that we also dislike that the cake is cold (again, Collin Street's suggestion, what with the refrigeration and all), and because it is a mail-order item, it lacks an atmosphere that restaurants naturally provide (Ginger quips that perhaps we should save it and haul it out again at Christmas).
Oh, There's Nothing Like Six-Month-Old Fruit Cake for the Holidays
As we debate whether to give this monstrosity of 1 or 2 stars, Ginger suggests that we leave it in the kitchen, and if we go back for more, it will get 2 stars, and if we don't, it will get 1 star.

Well, we returned to the kitchen many a time over the course of the weekend, and we placed just about every food or drink item that was in there into our mouths.

Every food or drink item -- except the fruit cake.

1 star for you.
In Your Tin, You Arrived, and In Your Tin, You Shall Remain
The Collin Street Bakery fruit cake seems like a clear example that any food that comes with a pamphlet full of instructions is inherently fraught with peril.  

And it also proves that come Ginger's birthday, she should look to receive an equally seasonally inappropriate item in her mailbox.
Plus, Of Course, These Napkins
Collin Street Bakery's Fruit Cake: 1 star

1 comment:

  1. I actually ordered this and loved it and I never like fruitcake. We all like different things!