Even the Grinch and Uncle Scrooge would start warming up to Christmas and the concept of giving in general as soon as they get a whiff of the Christmas spirit. So how do we experience this certain Christmas spirit? As the saying goes, the way to a man's heart is through his stomach (this applies to women too). This is why one of the regular person's worries about the holidays is weight gain. There's just really plenty of goodies during Christmas that's hard to resist. Locanto is quite sure that the smell and taste of the traditional Christmas food that's being served this time of the year, year after year around the world can always bring you back your memories of Santa Claus. So loosen your belts for this culinary ride of an article.
What are the first things that people say when asked about traditional Christmas food? Here are the top 7 Christmas fares all over the world:
- Roast turkey/chicken/goose (fowl in general): Turkey is basically available throughout the year and is normally bought and eaten as sandwiches. However, it is during festivities that turkey is served whole on the Christmas table, usually with cranberry or bread sauce. Having a big centerpiece like this on the table reminds everyone of sharing in the family. The head of the family is usually the one who slices it and serves the pieces on the plates of those partaking in the meal. Although goose is not as popular as turkey and chicken, basically anything of a substantial size that comes with wings is a safe choice for most types of eaters.
- Ham (or any form of pork roast): Whether roast whole pig or cured meat, pork symbolizes prosperity and abundance due to the pig's reputation (fat). Special kinds of pork meat are prepared specifically for the holidays paired with fruit. In countries like the Philippines, Lechon (roast suckling pig) is served with an apple in its mouth. In other cases when ham is served instead, the fruits are included in the stuffing, sauce or flavoring or even as a side dish.
- Gingerbread (or Christmas cookies): Who's never seen the Gingerbread man? Gingerbread cookies have become an inherent part of Christmas as symbols of festivities and fun and treats mostly for kids. Oftentimes, you see them hanging as Christmas ornaments. These cookies are supposedly made with ginger as part of the ingredients but since not a lot of kids go for that kind of taste, only honey or molasses remains as the common ingredient in all the versions of gingerbread goodies worldwide.
- Eggnog: If the chicken is there, so must be the egg. In countries where there is snow, eggs are served as eggnog, a drink made of dairy product, egg, sugar and liquor like brandy, whisky or rum. In tropical countries, the egg is mostly added as a basic ingredient in the sweets or baked goods served for the season, with some alcohol inside. Not a lot of people are fond of drinking eggs, as most people are used to take it sunny side-up, boiled or scrambled instead. It is a good source of protein. With alcohol, it becomes easier to swallow, to beat the cold.
- Christmas wine: Wine symbolizes festivities and opulence. But Christmas has to stand out among all of the parties celebrating some sort of success. This is why spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla are mixed usually with orange and sugar to give the "Christmas" feeling and smell in the cold winter months. Sugar and spice, and everything nice. Alcohol mixed with sugar=party with energy.
- Christmas cake/fruitcake: Any cake with dried or candied fruit, nuts, raisins...and alcohol. This is usually served plain without icing, as it is already fancy in itself. In Germany, Stollen is considered the cake symbolizing Christmas, sprinkled with powdered sugar. Fruitcakes are the longest-lasting cakes in the world due to the sugar and alcohol content. They are believed to get better with age, just like wine and women. So far, there has been no documentation of anyone trying to actually taste old fruitcakes, as these goodies never really that last long uneaten or untouched...with the exception of some.
- Salad (fruit or vegetable): Something to complement the main dish or if it's made of fruit, then it makes for the dessert. Salad is usually served in large quantities and can be refrigerated until needed. In rare cases, some salad are served warm but not when mayonnaise is used as the dressing. Salad symbolizes the best of everything, all in one. It may happen 'though that there will be some ingredients that a person may not like and will just shove it aside. Finding out what the ingredients of a salad are is normally a good icebreaker topic when attending parties.