Friday, December 19, 2008

Splendid Table: Citron Shortage

I've never had trouble finding candied citron before, especially around the holidays. But I've now visited all five of the markets in town and none is carrying citron this year. The closest I came was a display of green cherries (um, disgusting) at Safeway.

This bodes ill for the fruitcake, which saddens me. I understand why fruitcake fell into disfavor, but think it has more to do with the pitiful quality of candied fruit in this country than the cake itself. A few years ago I discovered some juicy, gorgeous Australian candied fruit at a shop in New York City and am convinced that if we baked fruitcakes with THAT there would be no more jokes. Plus: panforte? Why is no one laughing? Perhaps because it contains no green cherries and is delicious?

Every year I plan to throw a fruitcake-tasting party, but every year, flake. Mark your calendars: December 2009. 

Back to citron: How are you supposed to make German Christmas cookies without citron?Moreover, there are three Christmas cakes in The Splendid Table, all of which call for citron, all of which I want to bake.

I'm going in to San Francisco today so this means I'll be making the rounds of the supermarkets there. Such a wise use of my time. 


  1. I adore a good fruitcake and agree about the stale fruit. The other problem is when the loaves get chalky -- maybe a case where fresh organic stone-ground might help? well, and soaking the fruit in booze is always a plus!

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