Whether carried on by culinary tradition or celebrated in story and song,
some foods from years past remain part of the season's festivities:
Chestnuts. The lyrics of a sentimental holiday song describe "Chestnuts
roasting on an open fire." Roasted chestnuts have been a common street
food for centuries in Europe and Asia. The brown nuts are heated over a
flame or in an oven. Once cooled, peeling the hard shell reveals a meaty,
Sugarplums. The beloved Sugar Plum Fairy rules the kingdom of Sweets in
the popular ballet "The Nutcracker". A long-ago luxury, the confection from
the 17th to 19th centuries was not actually a sugared plum as the name suggests
but a type of small, hard-sugar candy that resembled the fruit's shape.
Figgy Pudding. The word pudding is a generic term for dessert in Britain, where
a figgy pudding topped with a holly sprig ends a holiday meal. The dome
shaped, moist spice cake, loaded with dried fruit, is also called plum pudding
and was most popular in the 15th to 19th centuries.
Wassail. The song "Here We Come A-Wassailing" refers to the tradition of
caroling as well as the mulled drink that accompanied the singers. Similar to
spiced cider, numerous recipes for wassail have been quenching winter thirsts
as far back as the middle ages.
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.........
Whether traveling around town or on your way to grandma's
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