People harbor strong feelings about fruitcake. They either love it or they hate it. I love the fruitcake we make, but hate the stuff you buy at the grocery store. Not sure sure what it is about that $2 fruitcake, but I won't waste calories on it.
I 'm not crazy about the fruitcake they make in Britain either. My sister lives in England and is married to a Scotsman. I spent a few holidays there with her family. One year, her mother-in-law brought a fruitcake she had made. It was full of raisins - at least three different kinds, had no nuts, and had never benefited from alcohol of any kind. I ate it to be polite, but I like mine better.
Fruitcake should have lots of whole nuts, real citrus peel, and red cherries. Not too many (or any) raisins, and should be dense and rummy. We start making ours in September, usually during the first home football game, and soak them in rum twice-weekly until Thanksgiving. By then, they have become a dense block of fruit, nuts and rum. We tell our customers not to eat and drive.
I believe people who hate fruitcake have never had a really good one. Like everything, there are good versions and bad versions. One of my chef instructors at Culinary School used to say you should try something at least twice, with different preparations, made by different chefs, before you decide you really don't like it.
There are two basic kinds of fruitcake: light and dark. Light fruitcake typically contains golden raisins, pineapple, apricots, almonds and has a light-colored cake base. Dark is usually made with molasses, brown sugar, raisins, dates, cherries and pecans. Our version has a light brown sugar cake base, but contains citrus, cherries, almonds and pecans, and is lightly spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg, so it is somewhere in-between.
If you've never had a fruitcake you like, come in and give ours a try. We usually have a few pieces on hand that we dip in chocolate. And the recipe is in our cookbook.