Monday, 23 December 2013

Christmas Around The World

Christmas in Italy - Panettone

Panettone is sweet bread dessert filled with raisins and/or other dried fruit served around the holidays in Italy and some other parts of Europe. It is most popular in Italy, originating in Milan. There are many different recipes for panettone but they are also sold commercially. And if you are not a big fan of the regular sweet loaf, there are even recipes re-using or repurposing panettone!

Christmas in France - Bûche de Noël
Bûche de Noël or a yule log is a type of Swiss roll cake decorated to resemble a log (as beautiful or as "rustic" as you like), typically served in France during the Christmas season.
We don’t know who exactly made the first Yule log cake, but judging from the individual ingredients it could have been as early as the 1600s. Marzipan and meringue decorations, two of the most popular choices for Yule logs, appeared on many a medieval table. Sponge cake, which often constitutes the base of the log, is one of the oldest cakes still made today. It dates back to at least 1615, when the first known recipe appeared in Gervaise Markham’s tome “The English Huswife.” (source)

Christmas in England - 
Mince Pies, Christmas Pudding
 As the name suggests, mince pies are simply pastries stuffed with mincemeat, eaten around Christmas traditionally in England. "Christmas mincemeat is not, as the name suggests, meat, if you look at the Christmas mincemeat recipe you will see it is sugar, fruits both fresh and dried, Brandy and suet." (source and recipe)

"Christmas (or Plum) Pudding is the traditional end to the British Christmas dinner. But what we think of as Christmas Pudding, is not what it was originally like!
Christmas pudding originated as a 14th century porridge called 'frumenty' that was made of beef and mutton with raisins, currants, prunes, wines and spices. This would often be more like soup and was eaten as a fasting meal in preparation for the Christmas festivities.
By 1595, frumenty was slowly changing into a plum pudding, having been thickened with eggs, breadcrumbs, dried fruit and given more flavour with the addition of beer and spirits. It became the customary Christmas dessert around 1650, but in 1664 the Puritans banned it as a bad custom.
In 1714, King George I re-established it as part of the Christmas meal, having tasted and enjoyed Plum Pudding. By Victorian times, Christmas Puddings had changed into something similar to the ones that are eaten today." (source)

Christmas in Venezuela - Hallacas
A hallaca is basically like a Trinidadian pastelle.
"Hallacas is the oldest food tradition in Venezuela and it is the most popular Christmas meal served during the holidays. It is still prepared in a similar fashion to colonial times with some modern refinements.
The hallaca is also considered one of the most representative icons of Venezuelan multicultural heritage, as its preparation includes European ingredients (such as raisins, nuts and olives), indigenous ingredients (corn meal colored with annatto seeds), and African ingredients (smoked plantain leaves used for wrapping). Its name is pronounced "ah-ya-ka"." (source)

Christmas in Japan - 
KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken)

Yes, it is true! They love KFC for Christmas in Japan!
"The tradition of eating KFC at Christmas dates back to the early 1970s, when an expat customer at the chain’s Aoyama store observed that, in a land bereft of Yuletide turkey, fried chicken was the next best thing. The store’s canny manager was paying attention and passed word on to the higher-ups, leading the company to launch its ludicrously successful “Kurisumasu ni wa kentakkii!” (Kentucky for Christmas!) campaign in 1974.
At least, that’s what the company says on its website (
Or it might just be because Colonel Sanders in a Santa cap looks like Santa Claus." (source)

A little sip here and there...
Hot Buttered Rum

Mulled Wine

Apple Cider

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