CHRISTMAS TRADITIONS FROM AROUND THE WORLD
WHEN WE THINK OF CHRISTMAS, our minds (and stomachs) often drift to thoughts of food and feasting. Have you ever wondered what people around the world have for Christmas? Here are some interesting stories of the many festive food traditions around the globe!
Eggnog (United States & Canada)
Eggnog is commonly consumed from the American Thanksgiving (fourth Thursday of November) through the end of the Christmas season. The rich and creamy dairy-based beverage is traditionally made with milk and/or cream, sugar, distilled spirits (brandy, rum or bourbon) and whipped eggs, which gives it a frothy texture. Its name is most likely a combination of two colonial slang words: rum was referred to as ‘grog’ and bartenders served it in small wooden mugs called ‘noggins’. This Christmas, try our Eggnog Speculoos cheesecake, which incorporates this uniquely festive flavour.
Cedele’s Eggnog Speculoos Cheesecake
Minced Pies (England)
For centuries in England, minced pies have been consumed as a Christmas treat. The original pies were much larger and contained a mix of sweet and savoury ingredients. However, the pies today are much smaller in size and are mostly sweet, making them a classic bite-sized treat.
Our version of the classic minced pie contains rich, boozy spiced fruit and rum. This year, we offer our frangipane apricot minced pie as an alcohol-free version, which contains a mix of fruit and nut in a tender almond pastry crust.
Radish Festival (Oaxaca, Mexico)
Every year, the city of Oaxaca in Mexico holds the Noche de Rábanos (or the Night of the Radishes) during its Christmas market on 23 December. Over-sized radishes are carved to create various scenes that compete for prizes. This tradition seems to have originated from the colonial period, when the priests first encouraged the carving of religious themes on radishes for the annual Christmas market. As a result, the carvings evolved into a marketing gimmick by farmers to attract customers before a formal radish carving competition was established by the mayor of Oaxaca in 1897.
Yule Log (France)
The Yule log, or the Bûche de Noël, is a traditional dessert served near Christmas time in France. Its history stretches back hundreds of years to an ancient time in Europe, when families would burn logs decorated with holly, pine cones or ivy, cleansing the air of the previous year’s events and to usher in the spring. The tradition has since evolved to that of eating a log cake made of sponge cake with marzipan or meringue decorations.
We are proud to offer three special log cakes this Christmas: our soft Berry Pistachio log cake, our gluten-free Chocolate Flourless Truffle log cake, and our Lychee Champagne Tiramisu log cake with champagne-spiked marscapone frosting.
The Panettone’s origins date back to the Roman Empire, when ancient Romans sweetened a type of leavened cake with honey. The word “panettone” derives from the Italian word “panetto” meaning a small loaf cake. Served around Christmas time, the Milanese sweet bread loaf is traditionally filled with dried and candied fruits.
This year, we offer a fragrant twist to the classic Italian fruit bread with our Christmas Baby Lemon Panettone.
KFC chicken is a must-have Christmas meal in Japan as a result of an ingenious Christmas marketing campaign in 1974 with the slogan “Kurisumasu ni wa kentakkii!” (Kentucky For Christmas!). During the festive season, long queues are expected at KFC outlets and Colonel Sanders dresses up as Santa Claus. As a result, KFC outlets now take their orders for “chicken barrels” two months in advance.
This traditional Christmas sweet combines Portuguese and Indian flavours and is native to Goa. Most Christian families prepare it a few days before Christmas, using simple ingredients like flour, egg, butter and sugar. Each kulkul is delicately prepared by rolling the dough on a comb-shaped fork or mold to form intricate curls before being deep fried.
Since the 15th century, the Stollen has symbolised the infant Jesus wrapped in swaddling clothes. It is traditionally baked during the advent using only flour, yeast, oil and water. Over the years, the recipe evolved to include sweeter ingredients, such as marzipan. It is also linked closely to the traditional fruit cakes of England.
Our traditional Stollen is a lightly-spiced buttery loaf with dried fruit soaked in dark rum and almond marzipan, finished with a delicate dusting of sugar.
WHAT ARE YOUR TRADITIONS for the Christmas season? We’ll help you start some new ones with our festive spread! Head over to Cedele Market to purchase some traditional treats.