A Closer Look at Murray Moss’ “Favorite Food Item of All Time”

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Speaking of Murray Moss, remember when he told us about that fruitcake he so enjoys, the one made by monks? The one his sister sends him every year? The one he calls “his favorite food item of all time”? Now the rum-injected holiday treat can be yours–all year ’round. The two-pound, candied fruit-studded delicacy is the creation of the monks of Assumption Abbey, a Trappist monastery established in the Ozarks in southern Missouri in 1950 (plus, their website welcomes you with a Gregorian chant!). When not praying, they do a swift business in fruitcakes. “The rummier the yummier,” Assumption Abbey’s Chief Fruitcake Maker Brother Joseph Reisch told the Wall Street Journal recently.

Why fruitcakes? Well, they were a logical follow-up to the product the monks used to make and sell: concrete blocks. “Around here we like to say, ‘If you liked our concrete blocks, you’ll love our fruitcakes,'” quipped Reisch. Today, the abbey bakes 250,000 fruitcakes a year and handles everything– from marinating the fruit in burgundy wine to packaging and aging the finished cakes.

Meanwhile, the monastery’s description of itself sounds spookily like the world of Moss: “Assumption Abbey is not a commercial enterprise,” they say on their website. “It is a way of life.” Can a Jasper Morrison for Alessi fruitcake keeper be far off?