It is that time of the year when we enjoy all manner of festive foods. From gingerbread men to festive yule logs. But do you know anything about the history of these festive treats? Probably not, that is why I bring you ten amazing facts about festive foods you won’t believe are real…
FACT 1: A Yule Log is a Pagan Ritual!
This makes more sense if you break its name down. The word “yule” is old English for a festival and the log part is a specially selected log burnt on a hearth. While they weren’t made of chocolate and cake the tradition is still the same.
FACT 2: In Some Parts of Europe They Stick Gingerbread to Their Windows!
While there are people all over the world who do this it is mostly still seen in countries like Norway and Sweden. They use the gingerbread to create window decorations along with lots of icing and sweets (candy).
FACT 3: Eggnog is Named After The Cup it Was Served in!
Its name derives from the word “noggin” which is a small drinking cup first mentioned in the mid 17th century. Sadly no-one truly knows the origins of the cups name, but it is believed to be Irish.
FACT 4: Candy Canes Are More Religious Than You Think
While candy canes are relatively new to the festive scene they are thought to have been invented over 350 years ago and many people believe its religious beginnings stem from it being a letter “J” when turned upside down (which might well be the right way up) and a lot of historians believe this represents Jesus.
FACT 5: It Was Once Festive Rabbit Meat Before Turkey
It wasn’t until the 1950s when turkey became more widely available that people started to enjoy it more, before that the most common meat on the Christmas table was in fact rabbit because that was all people could afford/hunt.
FACT 6: Pigs In Blankets Were Once Evil!
This comes from the original recipe that was dates wrapped in bacon and they were originally called “Devils on Horseback” and then “Devil Pigs on Horseback”. The name was not redeemed as festive enough so it was renamed to Pigs in Blankets.
FACT 7: Mince Pies Once Contained Meat!
While these days mince pies are fruit-based there was a time they contained actual meat! In Tudor times they were called “Shrid Pies” and were formed from shredded meat, suet and dried fruit. I don’t like the ones we have now, let alone the sound of those!
FACT 8: Christmas Pudding Also Contained Meat!
It is not just mince pies that have meat in their original recipe. In the 14th Century, it was made of beef and mutton, with currants, raisins, prunes, spices and wine. It was also a pudding ate before the Christmas celebrations went ahead.
FACT 9: Roasted Chestnuts are Lower in Calories Than All Other Nuts!
Not only is this festive snack low in calories is also contains potassium, vitamin C, fat-soluble B vitamins and manganese which is an antioxidant that soaks up free radicals in the system, thus reducing the risk for cancer and heart disease.
FACT 10: A Panettone Loaf Is Named After a Food Festival
If you have ever tried this sweet bread you will know it tastes pretty good, but what you might not know is it is named after the Italian food festival “Re Panettone”
Do you know any other festive food facts? If you do why not leave a comment and let others know.