Published: Fri, August 11, 2017
Health | By Jay Jacobs

Scott's fruit cake found 'almost edible' 106 years later

Scott's fruit cake found 'almost edible' 106 years later

Curators from the New Zealand-based Antarctic Heritage Trust - responsible for caring for the bases of early Antarctic explorers - said the cake was still wrapped in paper showing the British maker's label. Archival documents show that Scott took this particular brand of cake with him to Antarctica.

Since 2016, a small team has been working to artifact conservation at Cape Adare and recently completed a project conserving more than 1,500 items.

Scientists from the new Zealand heritage trust Antarctic hut at Cape Adare in hand was a odd find - a 106-year-old pie.

"It's an ideal high-energy food for Antarctic conditions, and is still a favourite item on modern trips to the Ice", says Lizzie Meek, the artifacts programme manager at the Trust, in a statement.

Scott's famous Antarctic expedition was both scientific and powered by a desire to be the first person to reach the South Pole. The artefacts be returned to the huts once they are restored to comply with the site's status as an Antarctic Specially Protected Area (ASPA). Built by the Norwegian Carsten Borchgrevink during his 1899 expedition, it was used by Scott's team in 1911, which we know from his recovered diaries.

Though, according to employees of the Fund, the tin box in which lay the dessert was in pretty bad shape, the pie looked and smelled "almost like edible". The AHT is now planning the conservation of these historic structures, which have been exposed to Antarctic conditions for over a hundred years.

So it doesn't appear that anyone will be eating this fruitcake anytime soon, which is just as well.

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