“The worst Christmas gift is fruitcake… There is only one fruitcake in the entire world, and people keep sending it to each other, year after year.”
– Johnny Carson, The Tonight Show
Just look at that fruitcake.
Follow the violently colored red and green “fruit” stuck in thick dough and be wary of the crystalized-sweets scattered above and within, waiting like hard-candy landmines.
We all know what a fruitcake is, or at least we think we do…
To Americans, it is a holiday punchline, a tongue-in-cheek image of the holiday icon. The suspect loaf on your Auntie’s holiday-ridden dining table. The food has seen more clichés than kitchen tables for the better half of a century, but few people under 30, have even tried a fruitcake to learn about the taste enough to inspire such seasonal bitterness.
Americans have truly bastardized the fruitcake during its early 20th century push for conveniently available cooking options. High-fructose infused fruit covered with processed breadcrumbs made for ready-to-make kits that was so highly packed with preservatives that it could last the entire year on the shelf before being picked up and created into a holiday gift.
The publicity – both good and bad – was so good that it took over the entire image of fruitcake and that it could only be reserved for this unwelcome treat. Little did we know of the original alternatives.
The American fruitcake fails to compete with the German Christmas stollen or our highlighted pastry of the month – the Italian panettone, but their international counterparts are kept secret to those with familial traditions.
The same could be said about banks. They are the butt-end of the classical entrepreneurs joke during the conversation regarding finance. But, regardless of the joke, people still think it is the only option.
Long-identified as the boring, go-to location for all thing’s money related, they continued to ride on the coat tails of free marketing just like the Q-tip and Kleenex brands. All the while, alternative financiers, those who take the time to truly understand the individual business transactions, were kept as the secret weapon fortunate to those who stumbled upon them.
Its understandable. Like the ready-to-make fruitcake (or those purchased pre-made), the bank’s products are all essentially the same with small variations based on similar guidelines. Its pre-packaged, standardized, and never customized to the needs of the business.
On the other hand, the panettone offers a wide selection of variations that can be incorporated into the bread to make it a unique treat. Not a fan of fruit? Mix in chocolate chips instead. Prefer it more aromatic? Incorporate anise into the mixture and enjoy a mild licorice finish with every bite.
Break tradition! Don’t but stuck with another brick of boring, tasteless fruitcake and substitute that effort with a freshly baked and personalized panettone. Alternative finance offers that same customization – from line size to covenants.
We get to know the business and the deals at the granular level. Our loan structures are made from scratch – just like a fresh panettone – with the right ingredients to ensure a business’ success.
Give Camel a call at 949-722-7717 and see how we can customize a line of credit and break tradition!
From Helena’s Garden: My Orange trees are coming in nicely this year. Panettone is a long family tradition on my Mothers side we were never fans of traditional fruit cake so we are going to adopt the Italian Version of Fruit Cake. It is quite complicated to make so if you just want to run down to the Italian Deli or even your local grocery store and buy one, That works even better. But if your a daring soul, I look forward to hearing how it all came out.
- Prep time: 40 minutes
- Cook time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
- Combined Rise time: 14 hours
- Yield: 12-16 servings
For the dough and sponge:
- 5 cups all-purpose flour, divided, plus a little more as needed
- 1 tablespoon instant yeast
- 2/3 cup water
- 5 large eggs
- Finely grated zest of 1 orange
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons anise
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
- 1 1/2 sticks, room temperature unsalted butter, to make the dough
- 1 tablespoon old unsalted butter for the top of the dough
- Vegetable oil spray (for the dough bowl)
For the fruit and nuts:
- 1/2 cup dark raisins
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
- 1/2 cup best quality candied orange peel, or a combination of 1/4-inch diced dried fruit, such as apricots, pears, cranberries, or dried cherries
- 1/4 cup dark rum, such as Meyer’s rum
- 1/4 cup hot water
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds on the top.
Or you can just add chocolate chips and than it’s not Fruit Cake at all but totally yummy.