The Grimch: Fruitcake vs Aspic

eyewire, versus, citizen-science, grinch, grimch, fruitcake, aspic

The holiday feeling was getting quite hearty
And HQ was throwing a holiday party!
All employees were bringing in holiday treats.
Cookies and candy, all you could eat!

The Grimch needed something to spoil their plans,
A holiday snack that nobody could stand.
He knew of two treats that would make one quite sick,
He could make a fruitcake, or maybe aspic!

But which was more hated, he couldn’t decide,
He had time for just one, and they seemed to be tied.
“I know” he thought, then he planned out his mission,
The players will choose in the VS competition!


Fruitcakes first gained popularity with the Romans, who mixed pomegranate seeds, pine nuts and barley mash together to form a ring-shaped dessert. Later, in the Middle Ages, preserved fruit, spices and honey were added and fruitcakes gained popularity with crusaders, as they were prized for their long shelf life.

With the discovery that high concentrations of sugar could preserve fruit, and the American colonies able to provide that sugar, 16th-century fruitcakes an excess of candied fruit, which added another density booster to the cake. Each successive century seemed to contribute yet another element to the cake, like alcohol during the Victorian era, until it became weighty with the cumulative harvests of the seasons.

So if “super dense” and “long shelf life” are the words you like to hear when it comes to dessert, fruitcake is the one for you!


Certainly not for vegetarians, the base of the aspic is a gelatinous meat stock. Though they look like jelly desserts at first glance, do not be fooled! Aspics are traditionally a savory dish, and pre-date “jellies” or “jello salads” which are more dessert-like, and somehow more appealing.

In the early 19th century, french chef Marie-Antoine Carême came up with the concept of “chaud froid”Chaud froid means “hot cold”, and referred to foods that were prepared hot and served cold. Aspic was used as a chaud froid sauce in many cold fish and poultry meals. Aspic keeps out air and bacteria, preventing the cooked meat from spoiling.

So if you’re idea of a tasty snack is something that is “hot cold” and “meat gelatin” then aspic may be your choice!

This circular food VS will begin at 11:00 AM ET on 12/18 and go for 24 hours! Usual VS bonuses apply.

Swag (generously sponsored by @susi): 1 shirt, 1 mug, and 3 sticker sheets will be raffled among the top 50% of players on the winning team!

Artwork by Daniela Gamba