BATH, N.Y. (WETM) – While baked goods are a staple of the holiday season, one upstate New York county’s tradition includes a decades-old gift that you definitely shouldn’t eat.
County officials will continue the tradition of presenting and regifting a fruitcake to another elected official. But this fruitcake is 30 years old and “long past its expiration date.”
In the spirit of Christmas, Kane gifted the fruitcake back the next year, setting in motion decades of the passing of the torch (or cake) each December. The fruitcake has even been put in jail and taken hostage, according to Steuben County officials.
The cake — now completely inedible, the county says — has changed hands each holiday season for the past 30 years. It’s been wrapped, re-wrapped, frozen, thawed, frozen again, and wrapped in boxes with fluorescent yellow tape to serve as a warning of the contents inside.
This year, Public Safety Director Tim Marshall will regift the cake on Dec. 19. However, the recipient remains a mystery.
The tradition started in 1992 when then-County Manager Mark Alger bought a fruitcake to support the local Kiwanis. However, not being a fan of the candies on the cake, he gifted it to Legislature Clerk Christine Kane.
“Rumor has it, it haunts dreams at this time of the year.”