Thursday 22 February 2018

Would you take a bite? Edible 100-year-old fruitcake discovered in Antarctica

Antarctic explorers (L-R) Capt Lawrence (Titus) Oates, Capt Robert Falcon Scott, PO Edgar Evans and seated (L-R) Lt Henry (Birdie) Bowers, Dr Edward Adrian Wilson at the South Pole in January 1912 Picture: REUTERS/Henry Bowers/The Scott Polar Research Institute at the University of Cambridge
Antarctic explorers (L-R) Capt Lawrence (Titus) Oates, Capt Robert Falcon Scott, PO Edgar Evans and seated (L-R) Lt Henry (Birdie) Bowers, Dr Edward Adrian Wilson at the South Pole in January 1912 Picture: REUTERS/Henry Bowers/The Scott Polar Research Institute at the University of Cambridge

Emma Gatten

A 100-year-old fruitcake believed to be from the Scott expedition has been found in a nearly "edible" state in the Antarctic.

The cake, wrapped in paper and stored inside a rusted tin, was found in the Antarctic's oldest building, a hut on Cape Adare.

The fruitcake found by the conservation team
The fruitcake found by the conservation team

It is believed to have been brought to the Antarctic by British explorer Robert Falcon Scott - pictured standing in the centre with his Antarctic exploration team - during his Terra Nova expedition between 1910 and 1913.

The brand of the cake, Huntley & Palmers, was known to be a favourite of Scott, who successfully led his team to the South Pole in 1912 from the base hut.

It was found during a two-year conservation project by the Antarctic Heritage Trust, which said it "looked and smelt almost edible". "With just two weeks to go on the conservation of the Cape Adare artefacts, finding such a perfectly preserved fruitcake in among the last handful of unidentified and severely corroded tins was quite a surprise," Lizzie Meek, the programme manager for artefacts at the Trust, said.

Scott's Antarctic base hut
Scott's Antarctic base hut

Irish Independent

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