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That Time I Fell In Love With A Fruitcake Seeking The Best Food in South Carolina

In case you do not this on your Hallmark calendar, get out your pen because December 27th is National Fruitcake Day.

What’s up With Meg?

I’m on a South Carolina food journey to chow down at the best restaurant in each of the 46 counties while seeking the Top 100 Food Dishes To Eat In South Carolina While Alive, Or, Before Dead, Whichever Comes First.

Why This Stop?

Tasty Tuesday – This stop at Abbott’s Bakery in Cowpens S.C.  for some fruitcake, this stop falls in the category of seeking the best food dishes SC has to offer.

While playing Alabama Tourism “100 Dishes To Eat In Alabama Before You Die,” I needed to taste Fruitcake. I was having a lot of negative thoughts about trying this dish. Such as, who likes fruitcake anyway? How can a food with glowing fruit, that lasts for years be palatable? Is fruitcake one word or two? I’m going to hate trying this.  Yes, the idea that I might love this try seemed nuttier than a fruitcake.

Far from being the only negative Nellie on the planet, A Huffington Post article sums up societal views on the fruitcake. “Fruitcake is easily the most hated cake in the existence of baking…” This cake is shot out of cannons, re-wrapped and the same cake re-gifted for years. Fruitcake is used as a verbal insult, the star of an annual fruitcake toss and the butt of many jokes in our culture. Many people blame the jokes of former Late Night television show host Johnny Carson, for the downfall of fruitcake; “Look at the world as a big fruitcake, it wouldn’t be complete without a few nuts in it.” “The worst gift is fruitcake…. there is only one fruitcake in the entire world, and people keep sending it to each other.”

 Had it not been for my goal to try the Alabama100 Dishes, I NEVER would have tried this cake. I  absolutely LOVED it! As did my less food adventurous husband, I now know that there IS good fruitcake, in fact GREAT. Who knew?

priesterscakepamphlet

 

The fruitcake was not at all like a brick. It was a heavier bread, think banana bread with a lot of nuts or cranberry bread with a lot of cranberries and nuts. The taste reminded me a bit of a fig newton, cookie, which I love. I simply could not put my finger on the flavor. Maybe it was the raisins with the rum, or, the blackberry wine? Or perhaps it was their secret old family recipe of glaze topping? I could really taste the pecan flavor and yet it all blended perfectly. The pineapple flavor along with the red and green cherries gave this bread sweetness but not too much. I thought I might pick out the cherries but when I tasted this bread, it was just fantastic. Delicious, right on Alabama!

priestersslice

For that post, I spent some time learning about all things fruitcakery, I now believe the downfall of fruitcake in current generations is a case of another good food ruined by modern ingredients and industrialization.

So how does this all relate to my quest to find the best foods in South Carolina? I never ever would have tried Fruitcake then, or, at any other time. Abbott’s Farms Bakery in Cowpens, S.C. bakes some mighty fine loaves of fruit-bread.  I have posted about both their delicious strawberry and peach bread.

So, when I popped in to the bakery during this holiday season, I decided to taste the fruitcake.

abbottfruitcake

Abbott Farms Fruitcake Cowpens S.C.

Abbotts Fruitcake

Abbott Farms Fruitcake Cowpens S.C.

Tasting this bread was not scary, and I really liked it.  The bread that I tasted in Alabama cost $52.99, (WOWZA) Although there was a smaller cake for $10.99, I wanted to take one home, so $52.99 for a fruitcake was kind of nutty.

The Abbott Farms fruitcake was much less substantial than the cake that I tasted in Alabama.   However, It was also more reasonably priced. None the less, I really thought it was tasty and would encourage someone who never had tasted good fruitcake to try Abbott’s fruitcake.

MEGastars 3.5 Really tasty and something that you can not find just anytime and anywhere.

MEGathoughts –

  1. Do try something new once, in a while, some things deserve a closer look.
  2. I LOVED The Fruitcake Lady, who became a star on Jay Leno. Aside from being an ambassador for fruitcake, she was hilarious and I absolutely love and miss her humor. Need to ease some Christmas stress check out the many videos on YouTube The Fruitcake Lady David Letterman  One fun fact, she is Truman Capote’s Aunt. *Disclaimer, probably not politically correct in this day and age.
  3. My favorite fruitcake hater moment is when Pee Wee Herman becomes the recipient of fruitcake gifts, again and again, and makes use of them by building a wing for his playhouse.   Pee Wee Herman and the Fruitcake

MEGatips-

  1. Although you can purchase Abbott’s Bakery goodies in the locations noted on the link below, do get it from the bakery in Cowpens when it is fresh and the icing is not melted. Also, they have smaller loaves of bread available.  Which brings me to my next point.
  2. Eat the whole thing right away or proudly serve during the holidays.
  3. Heading North or South, there are now SIX farm stops along I-85, I-65, and I-26.
  4. Below is a link to Abbott Farms general website for information on their farm, their harvest calendar, and some fantastic recipes.  They also have a Facebook page.
  5. Many of their products that are shipped across the U.S.A. Abbott Farms
  6. The Abbott Farms Bakery is located at Exit 83: 291 Bud Arthur Bridge Road, Cowpens, SC 29330
  7.  Phone 800-764-0076 for hours of operation at each site. 
  8. Of course, bring home some fresh peaches.

—————————————————————————————————————————————–

This MEGabites and MEGastars description is found at the bottom of each South Carolina Tasty Tuesday post. If you are new to my 100 Dishes South Carolina escapade, this may be helpful information.

Follow along on “Tasty Tuesday’s” A culinary trip across scenic and historical South Carolina, as I make my way like Miss Pacman in yet another state that I call home. Unlike my “Alabama 100 “quest where I followed a formal list from Alabama Tourism, and to my knowledge, there is not a formal South Carolina “100 list.” I am making my own list the Meg way.

 

*I select stops based on convenience of location and they are in no particular order. The blogs will be available under the South Carolina 46 Best tab.  I am loosely following the list of “The best restaurants in each South Carolina County for 2016.”

Maybe the food from these chosen restaurants will make it on my list, and maybe they won’t. I often refer to this list as “46BestSC”

[1] sncksofjax.com

 

I have been visiting places that vary from the Mom and Pop diners to the white cloth James Beard recipient eateries. A quest to find tasty dishes, unusual settings, and great foods that highlight folks who are dedicated to local food with pride and a whole bunch of South Carolina style.

I use a 5 MEGastar system.  For the most part, I am traveling a distance to try these dishes and these places get one shot at how I view the food and experience.   I will not be taking an average of three visit experiences and I factor this in when I give my star rating. That said, I’m very easy to please, I can overlook quite a bit and have worked in the foodservice industry.  I am not a *schooled food critic, just Meg, a curious traveler, with an interest in trying different foods and sharing my two cents on the experience.  I try to follow my own star system so that I may be fair to the wonderful dishes on this list.

  • *meh food. Just wasn’t good. Maybe the food came from a can? or,  the place was not one that I would want to send someone to show pride in South Carolina.   This has happened to me a few times and is always a difficult write for me.
  • ** passable – the food was “ok” but the place was not “ok” or vice versa.
  • *** good but not outstanding or unique.
  • **** Very tasty dish AND meets one of the definitions set forth by Meg. Local food and/or truly highlights South Carolina Pride.
  • ***** I actually died, went to heaven and came back when I ate the dish. And/Or, something is very unique, something you cannot get anywhere else.
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