We know the term tutti frutti as a shortcut for a mixed fruit flavor for ice cream or lollipops, or a nonsense song from Little Richard. But in the 19th century, it was a recipe for preserving summer fruits of almost any kind in brandy. Before refrigeration, alcohol was one of the more dependable ways to make fruit last through the winter. Home cooks would begin making tutti frutti in the spring with strawberries, sugar, and brandy, and later add berries, peaches, cherries, pineapples, and whatever else was available as the crops rolled in. By the time the jar was full, the delicious fruit compote was ready for storage or eating. And it made those long winter days a bit more sunny.
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Sadly, tutti frutti was made illegal during Prohibition, and by the time brandy was legal again, other fruit preservation methods were well established, and advances in transporting crops made fresh fruit available all year. But you can go back to the days of tutti frutti, because the history of tutti frutti is accompanied by a modern recipe for making your own at Atlas Obscura.
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