Part and parcel of global awareness is the appreciation of the lighter moments of our life. As such, a story from our Bakery Manager, Ernie Polanskas, reminded me that there is more to recycling than large green bins at the curb’s edge. Truth be told our great-grandparents didn’t think that they were recycling but did naturally what we, in a throw-away economy, do intentionally. Now as then, such strategies not only save money but may generate income. But I’ll let Ernie tell the story in his own words.
Holy Cross Abbey has found an answer to the question, what do you do with fruit cakes that are too light to sell? Marketing cakes by UPS or Priority Mail means that our fruitcakes have to conform to a set weight. Cakes that are too heavy to ship at the flat rate go to the Gift Shop for direct sale; but what if they’re too light? We have to give our customers the full product that they order.
One Christmas, the Abbey sent a fruitcake to our friends and chocolatiers Charlie and Brenda Casabona. Charlie and Brenda operate DeFluri’s Fine Chocolate in Martinsburg, West Virginia. “Whenever we receive an edible gift, we cover it in chocolate,” Charlie says [ ED: never to send them pesto or a Smithfield ham]. After slicing the fruitcake and coating it with dark chocolate, the candy makers were pleased with the taste: the dark chocolate complimented the the cake’s spices and brandy and was an ideal contrast to the fruit’s sweetness. They shared their discovery with the monks who realized it was a great way to utilize underweight cakes. One adventurous brother dubbed the product “Fraters”, from the Latin word for “brother”. I’ll leave it up to you to figure out the connection; the name stuck. The brethren have been known to help out on the assembly line when they are produced by Brenda and Charlie, so there is some sort of connection between the monks and the tempting treat.
They may be purchased individually at the Abbey’s gift shop or ordered by the box: six slices weighing in at 15.6 ounces at $20.95 a box. It’s no exaggeration to say that the best ingredients are used in both the cake and the chocolate.
DeFluri’s is located at 130 N. Queen Street in the heart of picturesque Martinsburg, West Virginia. The Fraters are exclusively available from Monastery Bakery, but DeFluri’s has other delights to offer. Their lovely showroom is seasonally decorated and displays a wide range of quality, fresh made chocolates and other confections. Leave your dieting plans at the door. Their website–www.defluris.com–allows on-line shopping; they may be reached by phone at (304) 264-3698.