This woman found a decades-old wedding memory buried in her freezer | CBC News

For 55 years, a tier of wedding cake sat wrapped and largely forgotten at the bottom of Rochelle Marr’s freezer.

But with last weekend’s cold weather, Marr and her son Travis decided to do a deep clean of the freezer.

“I came across this cake that I had forgotten all about and it’s been moved from different freezers along the way and so I thought I better look at it and I saw there was a date or a writing on the bottom of it.”

The writing said “Do not open until 2018.”

That year marked the 50th anniversary of her marriage to Brian Marr, a long-time doctor in the Salmon Arm area before he died in June of 2023.

There is a long-standing tradition of saving a section of a wedding cake to eat on the first wedding anniversary or upon the christening of the newlywed’s first-born child.

However, some couples save the cake for much longer.

Rochelle Marr’s wedding cake — a fruitcake to be precise — was made by the mother of one of her bridesmaids for the 1968 wedding celebration.

Rochelle Marr eats a piece of her wedding cake in a photo from 1968. Fifty-five years later, she discovered part of the cake in her freezer and is planning a family gathering to see if it has held up. (Submitted by Travis Marr)

Rochelle’s son Travis said he didn’t even know the cake existed until they rediscovered it.

“We had no idea and almost seemed like they had completely forgot about it themselves,” Travis Marr said.

When he spotted the cake in the freezer and heard the story, he urged her to unwrap it. They peeled off the aluminum foil, thawed it out and steamed it up.

They agree the cake is in great shape.

“It looks really good and it smells delicious,” said Rochelle.

Likely safe, says food safety expert

As to whether it’s safe to eat, Travis isn’t worried.

“I love fruitcake. I know a lot of people don’t and I know a lot of people are skeptical with the aging of a fruit cake, but I did some research this morning, and the oldest one is about 161 years old.”

One food safety expert agrees it’s probably safe — or at least won’t kill you.

“It’s really heavy in alcohol and it’s got high sugar, high fat. The available water, as we call it, is fairly low and because it’s been in the freezer, obviously microbial growth doesn’t occur,” said Keith Warriner, a professor of food safety at the University of Guelph.

Older woman holding a camera beside a round fruit cake on a white gas stove top.
This fruitcake was part of Rochelle Marr’s wedding cake back in 1968. The cake recently resurfaced from the depths of her freezer. (Submitted by Travis Marr)

What might be a concern are the chemical reactions that can happen over the course of 55 years, he said.

“You certainly might feel the effects of rancid oils and things like that, which can kind of upset your tummy, and biogenic amine can kind of give you a bit of a reaction.”

Warriner said he wouldn’t eat the cake if given a chance, but he would certainly look it over and give it a smell.

“How you keep a cake for 50 years is quite an achievement, but certainly from a food safety side it should be safe.”

The family is planning on eating the cake at a later date when Travis and his two other siblings and their families are able to join their mom.

Rochelle Marr might even make some icing for the long-awaited fruitcake.

“I think we’re down for a bit of a hoedown,” said Travis Marr.

Daybreak Kamloops3:51Wedding cake opened 55 years after it was made and it smells great

Kamloops’s Travis Marr and his mother Rochelle were cleaning out her freezer when they found a wrapped up cake that was given to her 55 years ago for her wedding.

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