A 106 year old fruit cake was found among the last artefacts to be conserved at the Canterbury Museum lab by Antarctic Heritage Trust conservators. Made by Huntley & Palmers the fruit cake is still wrapped in paper and encased in the remains of a tin-plated iron alloy tin. Believed to be from Robert Falcon Scott's Northern party (1911) the cake itself looked and smelt (almost) edible, despite its age.
The cake probably dates to the Cape Adare-based Northern Party of Scott’s Terra Nova expedition (1910 – 1913) as it has been documented that Scott took this particular brand of cake with him at that time.
Although the tin was in poor condition, the cake itself looked and smelt (almost) edible.
Programme Manager-Artefacts Lizzie Meek said “With just two weeks to go on the conservation of the Cape Adare artefacts, finding such a perfectly preserved fruitcake in amongst the last handful of unidentified and severely corroded tins was quite a surprise. It’s an ideal high-energy food for Antarctic conditions, and is still a favourite item on modern trips to the Ice.” Source