Fruit cake - love it or hate it? It's one of those things that people don't seem to have neutral opinions about.
Count me firmly in the "love it" camp. Growing up in Georgia, fruit cake always meant Claxton fruit cake, with the familiar red and white packaging. I still have to buy a fruit cake every year. It wouldn't seem like Christmas without it! (Pictured above, on a vintage postcard.)
The Claxton Bakery first opened in Claxton, Georgia in 1910. It was owned by Italian immigrant Savino Tos who had experience as a master baker in Italy and New York. In 1927 a young boy named Albert Parker started working at the bakery. Eventually, when Savino Tos retired, Albert Parker purchased the business. It is still run by Albert Parker's sons and daughter.
It was Albert Parker who started the focus on fruit cake. In the 1950's, the fruit cakes were marketed as civic group fundraisers.
The Claxton Fruit Cake company had a booth at the New York World's Fair of 1964 - 1965, which helped build the brand popularity. They have also had brand floats at the Orange Bowl Jamboree Parade in Miami, Florida, and the Cherry Blossom Festival Parade in Washington, D.C.
The company is still active and busy, and can be found at their website. Claxton, Georgia claims to be the fruit cake capitol of the world, with over four million fruit cakes sold each year.
Are you a fruit cake fan? Do you make your own or have a special brand? I'd love to hear from you in the comments, below.