Jeff Roberson / AP
Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012 | 6 p.m.
AVA, Mo. — Once the bane of pot-luck parties, the fruitcake has been turned into a sought-after treat by Trappist monks secluded in the Missouri Ozarks who some say bake cake that's nothing short of heavenly.
Between February and mid-December, monks at the Assumption Abbey in Ava, Mo., produce about 25,000 fruitcakes. The monks have gained a national reputation for carefully controlling the production. They marinate the fruit, age the cakes and even package and ship the product from their foothills monastery.
Before each two-pound cake leaves the abbey, it gets a special prayer from the monks aimed at all those who eat the cake.
At $31 apiece, the cakes allow the monks to live out solitary lives of work and prayer on their compound southeast of Springfield.