Seasonal Treats in England

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!


sherrie said...

i love watching the travel channel and they just had a thing on england and christmas with rick steves. a lot of those foods were mentioned. it's always fun to learn how others celebrate the season. so do you make any of these yourself? looks yummy.

christine said...

Oh gosh--never made any myself although my boyfriends mum does. They all seem way too complicated to make especially the christmas pudding.

Michelle said...

my husband served his mission in england, so i showed him this post. he agrees that they are definitely some acquired tastes! good thing you have cadbury over there to counteract any of the not-so-tasty treats!

Jess said...

I saw a recipe for a yule log in my Better Homes and Gardens Christmas book. I wonder if they have changed the recipe a bit to fit the palate of most Americans. Anywho, I also love see all the different foods & treats from other countries.

P.S. I was thinking about the movie Enchanted this weekend and it reminds me of a mini series The 10th Kingdom. Not sure if you have seen it, but I recommend both. They are just twists on fairy tales.

Jess said...
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