If people love one thing best, it’s gotta be eating. Well, we’ve been doing it for quite some time. And I have to say, we’ve gotten pretty darn good at it. I think you would agree that throughout history, mankind has enjoyed getting together and eating, laughing and celebrating about anything with food. Maybe because this means they will survive yet another season or year or day.
The Romans (and I doubt they are not alone) loved to celebrate. Saturnalia was their favorite celebration that honored the shortest day of the year and the return of the sun/Saturn or later Apollo. Celts celebrated this day as well.Then the Christians took this day over in honor of Christ’s birth,which wasn’t in December but in the fall. No one knows exactly, but he did have a birthday and we celebrate that still. So I wanted to look at how many have enjoyed this celebration of life.
In Sicily, they enjoyed special meals with twelve kinds of fish for the twelve months of the year. In the Eastern Europe, along with fish came the traditional course along with lamb.beef, ham, chicken. In Germany, France and Austria goose and pork are a favorite.
English people enjoyed what much of Americans like: turkey, goose, beef, duck with potatoes with gravy, dressings with oysters, vegetables as brussels sprouts, breads and ciders.
Once they enjoyed all that, came Christmas desserts as puddings, mince pies and fruit cake. (I like fruit cake) Once the Spain discovered the Aztec and Mayan’s chocolate and brought it back to Europe, it exploded across the continent and totally enjoyed this new delicacy as a chocolate and chestnut beverage ‘Imbuljuta taQastan.’ We still do. I know I love about anything chocolate.
Traditional Christmas breads, (Ah bread. Love bread) include Slovaks’s Potica, France’s buche de noel, and Italy’s panettone. And then there are the special tarts and cakes as Jamaican rum cake, candies and sweets and . What would Christmas be without cookies, little pies and cakes to feast on? Don’t want to know.
And speaking of desserts, from Romans to today, there is always nature’s candy….fruit, oranges being a favorite.
Then there are some who do things really differently.
In Japan, Col. Sanders Kentucky Fried Chicken is a favorite today. I’m sure KFC enjoys that. Like Sicilian, the people of Bulgaria cook twelve foods for the twelve months but without meat. They enjoy nuts, dried plums,cakes and Banitza a delicious cake. One year Joe and I had an Italian Christmas with lasagna. However, in Africa, they enjoy a crispy fried caterpillars. On that, I’ll pass. But I’m sure, I’ll eat too much again this year.
A book could be written on Holiday foods …no I don’t mean just cookbooks. So what did I miss? What are your favorite dishes during Christmas?
Don’t forget to stop by next weekend for lots more of the things about the history behind this holiday