Did you know…
- Twenty-two million turkeys are consumed each year at Christmas, compared to 45 million at Thanksgiving.
- Figgy pudding, made from figs, bread crumbs, cinnamon, nutmeg, and milk, baked and topped with a scrumptious brandied hard sauce, custard icing, powdered sugar, or whipped cream, was immortalized in the song We Wish You a Merry Christmas and was served by Mrs. Cratchit in the Charles Dickens classic A Christmas Carol.
- Animal Cracker's were introduced at Christmastime in 1902. The carrying string on the box was designed so it could be hung on a Christmas Tree.
More than 1.75 million candy canes are currently made each year for the Christmas season. Candy canes, it’s been said, originated in 1670 when the choirmaster of Cologne Cathedral had candies made in the shape of a shepherd's crook. He distributed them to youngsters who were attending the church's crèche scene to encourage them to stay quiet.
Bizochito is a small anise flavored sugar cookie or shortbread cookie. The sweet is traditionally served at Christmas and special occasions such as weddings and baptisms. It is the official state cookie of New Mexico.
The Christmas mushroom is the enoki.
- A custom originating in Germany says good fortune or an extra present goes to the first person to find a glass pickle ornament hidden on a Christmas tree.
- Mince pies date back to medieval times originating from a huge pie baked on Christmas Eve with chopped beef, suet, nuts, spices and fruit. A crust was added later, on top of which a pastry effigy of baby Jesus was laid to represent him lying in his cradle.
As the year winds down, thank you for reading my column and for all the feedback on food and other gustatory pleasures in life.
Wishing you all the best for a happy holiday season, a healthy and prosperous new year and many good meals to come!