1941 fruitcake stands the test of time

CINCINNATI - Everyone knows that since it's the holiday season, many people are exchanging gifts, and someone is going to get the fruitcake. It's become something of a punch line over the years, but it's still a classic.

In 1941, Franklin Roosevelt was president, the carving on Mount Rushmore ended, and the Kroger Company made and sold a fruitcake that is now up for bid.

Larry Chaney has made some interesting finds in his years of liquidating estates. Add to the list, this 70-year-old fruitcake found with a note dated 1971.

It said, "this fruitcake is one of six purchased by the undersigned in 1941. During its 30 years of life, the cake has traveled thousands of miles and has been subjected to all types of climate conditions and shocks. We are moving again and wish to return the cake to its original maker, the Kroger Company."

The note is signed by E.F. Helbing of Cincinnati. It turns out, his Kroger store didn't want the old fruitcake, but store manager Frank Bates just couldn't throw it away and decided to take it home.

Frank's son, Wally, is now helping his 86-year-old dad get rid of some things--the fruitcake among them.

Chaney's Clermont County company, Elite Estates Group, is putting it back on the market. People can now bid on it.

"One hundred percent of whatever you bid on this is going to go to charity, so hopefully you'll help us out," said Chaney.

The debate though: to eat or not to eat.

Chaney says, "1941--current product, make by Kroger's in the old vacuum packed with rum. Even though it has a little rust on it, it's still probably pretty good."

"You think it's still pretty good?" we asked.

"I don't know. We thought about advertising it like this, or trying to send it to the show where they make people eat weird stuff," said Chaney.

We did call Kroger to make them aware of this piece of their history. They advise the buyer to keep the fruitcake for conversation and not for dessert.

Bidding ends Thursday at 8 p.m.

For more information, go to eliteestategroup.com .
 

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