Century old 'perfectly preserved' fruit cake found in Antarctic hut

Cape Adare where the cake was found is shown in relation to the expedition taken by Captain Scott's ill-fated party. Scott himself died in the Ross Ice Shelf

A well-preserved 106-year-old fruit cake has been found in a hut on Cape Adare, Northern Victoria Land, Antarctica. The tin is in rough shape, but researchers could still determine the brand: Huntley & Palmers. They were built by Norwegian Carsten Borchgrevink's expedition in 1899 and later used by Scott's party in 1911.

The site is notable not only for its role in the discovery of Antarctica but also as the only example left of humanity's first building on any continent.

The fruitcake likely dates to the Terra Nova expedition of 1910-1913, led by British explorer Robert Falcon Scott.

The cake survived all these many years in excellent condition and it has since undergone a conservation effort to stabilize the paper wrapping and tin container.

About it reports a press-service of Fund of the Antarctic heritage New Zealand.

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Trust artefacts programme manager Lizzie Meek that, although the tin was in a poor state, the cake itself was in excellent condition and looked and smelt edible, or nearly.

Lizzie Meek, artifacts programme manager at the Trust, said it was "quite a surprise" to find the fruitcake, which sat among the last handful of corroded tins set to be restored.

"It's an ideal high-energy food for Antarctic conditions, and is still a favourite item on modern trips to the Ice", she said in a statement.

A team from the Canterbury Museum in Christchurch has recently finished a 14-month project conserving nearly 1,500 artifacts from Cape Adare.

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