Hating fruitcake is a tradition as old as fruitcake itself. I’ve been asked this question more than once: Why do we love to hate fruitcake?

We hate fruitcake, because it has become a tradition in America. People who have never tasted it have been raised to hate fruitcake by parents who also have not tried it. We all love traditions, and since they are so entrenched in our lives, no one wants to taste of fruitcake and possibly have a cherished Christmas belief crushed. (First, Santa, and now fruitcake. Where will it end?)

Of course, for those of us who have had the misfortune of actually trying fruitcake, we know the real reason is because fruitcake is as awful as we feared.

Interestingly enough, this tradition doesn’t translate well to other countries. I’ve been contacted by people from the UK and Australia who say their fruitcakes are “moist and delicious.” Some of these people state that “everyone here loves fruitcake,” a claim that is really hard to believe. Chocolate is a wonderful treat, yet there are people who don’t like it at all. It’s apparent these people are exaggerating for effect, and covering for the fact that their fruitcake isn’t as wonderful as they want everyone else to believe.

Before you fall prey to one of the pranksters who dare you to try a piece, remember this: you are what you eat.