We’ve seen some pretty unique family heirlooms…but this particular item takes the cake. No pun.
A family in Tecumseh, Michigan — about 63 miles southwest of Detroit — has passed down a fruitcake dessert for five generations.
Family legend has it that Fidelia Ford, a mother of seven, would annually make the dessert, let it sit for a year, and serve it the next holiday season.
Ford, whose obituary sits on the top of the dessert, didn’t live to see her 1878 creation be enjoyed, and her family has since looked at it as part of her legacy rather than perishable food.
The cake has resided only in Ford’s Berkey, Ohio, farmhouse, where it was brought to fruition, and the Tecumseh home of Morgan Ford, her late great-grandson, who once remarked that the cake “smells like old people.”
Morgan was, according to the family, one of just three people to ever eat a piece of Fidelia Ford’s fossilized fruitcake — which was baked while Lady Liberty was under construction and eight years before the statue was dedicated.
In 2003, he and “The Tonight Show” host Jay Leno tried a piece when Morgan brought the cake to the show. That sampling came nearly 40 years after the first in 1964 by Ford’s then 84-year-old grandson, Amos, who wouldn’t weigh in on the taste.
Though part of the cake was buried with Morgan, the family plans to pass the leftovers to the younger generations.
According to The Detroit News though, the Guinness World Records association has identified a cake even older than Ford’s: a 4,176-year-old cake previously buried in an Ancient Egyptian tomb. That cake currently sits in a Swiss food museum.