Do you think to know everything about the most wonderful time of the year?
We bet that there are a lot of things you didn’t know about classic Christmas foods. Sure, it may seem like candy canes, turkey, pudding and mince pies have always been there as Christmas tradition for as long as this holiday exists, but, in reality, that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Here are 9 fun facts that’ll make you the Christmas food pub quiz master (there is such a thing, right?!).
Before turkey, the traditional Christmas meal in England was a pig’s head and mustard. It wasn’t until Henry VIII had turkey for Christmas in the sixteenth century that it became a must-have on the Christmas table.
2. Eating a Christmas tree
Many parts of the Christmas tree can actually be eaten (the needles are a source of vitamin C).
The mince pies are now mostly vegetarian but, in the 1800s, mince pies were made with beef and spices.
4. Chocolate coins
Chocolate coins are a nod to St Nicholas, who gave bags of gold coins to the poor.
5. Fruit cake
In the past, fruit cake was intended to last all year. Indeed, the high moisture (and often alcohol) content of these cakes means they last for a long time without going bad. They were originally baked at the end of the harvest season and saved to be eaten the following year.
Christmas pudding was originally a soup made with raisins and wine!
Hanging stockings is a traditional Dutch custom. Dutch people leave shoes filled with food for St Nicholas’s donkeys, who leave small gifts in return.
8. Candy canes
Candy canes are said to have been invented in 1670, when a German choirmaster commissioned candies to keep children quiet in the church. The stripes came later.
The tradition of putting tangerines in stockings comes from 12th century French nuns who left socks full of fruits to the poor.