Christmas Food Traditions
We are starting to feel all Christmassy, you may think it took long enough, with Christmas just days away, but we have been busy catering for all your lovely Christmas dinners and soirees.
In today’s blog we are going to take the opportunity to reflect on the many dishes of Christmas. In my last post I gave some alternative suggestions to the traditional turkey Christmas dinner. But, of course what is tradition here in England is different in other countries….
Speaking of turkey, it wasn’t the Christmas Day dish of choice until around 1850, when it was introduced as the preferred dish of Royal courts in place of the previous favourite of roast swan!
I’ve taken a look at some of the most delicious and interesting Christmas food available:
Perhaps one of the most lavish and well-known traditions from Provence is the feast enjoyed on Christmas Eve, le réveillon de Noël. The food at this table is extremely luxurious and you can expect oysters, snails and lobster.
Families often spend a huge amount of money on this meal and as well as opulent meats and dishes in the main course thirteen desserts are served. ‘Trou normand” or “the Norman hole” which is an alcoholic drink served with an apple or pear sorbet, said to reawaken the appetite, is also served between courses!
Though some of the food sounds scrumptious, generally le réveillon de Noël is not something that appeals to me! The same goes for the traditional Inuit meal for Christmas in Greenland – kiviak. It is made of little auks (sea birds) fermented in a seal skin. It is said to take between four months and eighteen months to prepare!
Another unusual Christmas food trend hails from Japan… Surprisingly KFC is the meal of choice to celebrate Christmas. Apparently this started in the 70s as a result of a great advertising campaign. Well it stuck because approximately 3.6 million people are said to enjoy Kentucky Fried Chicken on December 25th…
Most Slavic countries follow the Julian calendar as Orthodox Christians. This means that they celebrate Christmas Eve and Christmas Day two weeks behind us, on the 6th and 7th January. In the Ukraine they don’t eat meat for advent and Christmas Eve is the last meatless meal of Advent. So after midnight mass they feast and break the meatless fast.
The meal is known as Sviaty Vechi and like in Provence, thirteen dishes are enjoyed to symbolise Christ and the apostles. These dishes range from soups like borshch to fish and cabbage and beans. Pickled herring is popular too as the silver colour and scales are meant to symbolise forthcoming good luck and prosperity. Sauerkraut is another popular choice and is prominent as it signifies wealth in the coming year. Freshly baked breads with a clove of fresh garlic and honey are enjoyed along with stewed fruits and compote.
I’ll be serving turkey at home with all the trimmings, but whatever you are doing and eating, I hope you have a great one.
Merry Christmas to you all and thanks for your support this year. Here’s to a great 2018.