11/12/2012 08:00 EST | Updated 01/12/2013 05:12 EST

Some facts about fruitcake

Here are some facts about fruitcake:

— According to Guinness World Records, the largest fruitcake ever made weighed 3,825 kilograms (almost 8,433 pounds) and was created for a food and kitchen expo in India in 2011. The traditional Christmas plum cake was nine metres (29 feet) long and six metres (19 feet) wide. It was sold in pieces after the exhibition.

— A fruitcake properly preserved with an alcohol-soaked cheesecloth and wrapped in plastic wrap or foil can be kept unrefrigerated for years without spoiling. The cakes even improve with age if the cloth is remoistened with alcohol occasionally.

— For many years fruitcake was the cake of choice for weddings and a slice would be given to each guest as a favour. One custom dictated that if single guests took the slices home and placed them under their pillows, they would dream of the person they would marry.

— Fruitcake was often put into ancient Egyptian tombs because it was thought the preserved food would not spoil on the journey to the afterlife.

— Candied fruits were developed by traders to preserve the exotic fruits they wanted to transport from the Middle East to Europe.

— Various sources