As I sit here scoffing down a mince pie it dawned on me that not many know of the seasonal treats you have in England. As an American I can see how some have managed to make it across the pond (like fruitcake & mince pies). However, a few have taken a long time for me to get used to and I've just come to the conclusion they are acquired tastes.
Yule Logs: These are not the most favorite around or traditional, but you see them every year in the shops. I rather like them (best home made) because of the sheer amounts of chocolate.
Christmas cake (Fruitcake): Everyone usually makes this each year and usually people have it the evening of Christmas Day or Boxing Day (day after Christmas). Apparently the tradition of this cake goes back to Victorian times. Putting some sort of figurines on top is a must too.
Christmas pudding: Now when you think of Charles Dicken's christmas carol you think of this. Technically its fruitcake aged (apparently the traditional way is to put it under a bed in a container for 6-10 months to ferment). You then pour brandy over it and I kid you not light it on fire. The flame turns a lovely blue color and goes out once all the alcohol has burned out. You then serve it w/brandy butter (VERY FATTENING, alcohol also burned out of it). It tastes like burnt cake (no surprise there) but is a must and staple at every christmas table and like everything in England has deep roots in tradition. This isn't my favorite seasonal treat but I usually manage to have a spoonful every year anyway.
Mince Pies: These are divine and like the mince pies you get for Thanksgiving just smaller and no 'real' meat. They are sprinkled w/powdered sugar and you can have them w/brandy butter. I adore these and you can't just have one. They are consumed throughout the holiday season and go great w/ a warm cup of apple cider or hot chocolate.
Each of these are fabulous in their own right but of course fattening. All I can say is thank goodness I'm doing so much exercise at the moment!