It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! December’s here and the romantic, magical scene of falling flakes of snow are starting to lighten the heart of youngsters and big kids alike. It’s sparking the anticipation of fun, good times, and the prospect of some of the most flavoursome foods straining tables across the world. Festive foods have long been a staple of the season, a time of going overboard with taste sensations, calorie high, flavour rich starters, desserts and mains – a real treat to stave off the worst the weather can throw at us.
But are we really challenging our taste buds at Christmas, In Greenland for Xmas the delicacy is auk that has been buried in the ice inside a hollowed out seal carcass. The birds are left in the ice for seven months to ferment, and are said to smell very similar to strong cheese when the seal carcass is opened.
In the UK we have a traditional menu of what makes a Christmastime dinner but, with a few tweaks here and there, this choice can be expanded with just a little ingenuity and a lot of Christmas spirit into something really rather original. Prepare yourself to tuck into some weird and wonderful Christmas foods.
Xmas Morning Snack
Christmas Breakfast Muffins Vs Silk Worms
The excitement of Christmas morning, particularly for children, often dampens the appetite. Placing a plate of these muffins on a nearby table should reverse this, with their aromas and visual appeal. They’ll give your kids enough energy to last until dinnertime. You could how ever try the kids out with a bowl of Korean silk worms, the worms are battered, crumbed and fried in a light oil to bring out the flavour. You could consider adding sugar or honey to make them more like a popcorn snack on Xmas morning.
Xmas Dinner Starter
Pumpkin soup Vs Ambuyat
One for the veggies, pumpkin soup is a light and warming traditional Xmas starter and won’t fill the family up before the main course. The Bruneian starter also veggie is made from the interior of the Sago palm tree. This is a famous delicacy in Brunei and is prized by the people of Sabah, the dish is typically eaten with a bamboo fork, rolled around the fork and dipped in a sour sauce to taste.
Christmas Coleslaw Vs Escamoles
Not something you would often associate with Christmas, this version is heavy on the red cabbage and dried cranberries and tastes amazing. For the best results, soak the cranberries in a fruity tea overnight to make them really juicy. For a different side dish you could look to Mexcio and try some Escamoles, yum. This is the larve of large poisionous ants and harvesting the eggs can be a tricky business as this particular ant has an extreamly painful bite. The larve is considered a delicacy much like caviar and is said to have a pleasent buttery consistancy and nutty flavour.
Christmas Turkey with Tropical Flavours Vs Lutefisk
The Christmas dinner now puts the turkey at centre stage. It’s only been in recent decades that the turkey has become affordable for most families and replaced the goose as traditional fayre. This recipe brings a touch of the tropical to your table but before you consider this, make sure your guests are up for turkey in a banana sauce!
If any of your guests are not keen on banana, perhaps you could try a main of Lutefisk, this a traditional dish in Nordic countries. Lutefisk is made from air-dried or dried and salted whitefish and soda lye. The name means Lye Fish, whic describes how the fish is prepared in caustic lye soda, not totally sure what this will do to your insides, but its not known to kill. Cooking the dish for too long will cause the fish to actually turn into soap, which is cool for a few last minute Xmas gifts. The Lutefisk is served with bacon, gravy, new potatos, white sauce and goats cheese.
At the end of the day when you’re in a contented mood and keen to relax, why not sink into the embrace of your comfy seat with a mug of your favourite brew and some tasty biscuits with frogs fallopian tubes?
Mincemeat Bon Bons Vs Hasma
I love sweet mince pies but there is more that you can do with this versatile filling. With this simple recipe, filo pastry made into little mincemeat Christmas crackers a novel, toothsome treat.
Too much, you could try Hasma, its eaten in China and is considered to be a desert, it is made up of the fallopian tubes of frogs, which are bought in a dried form and which swell up to 15 times their size when added to water. It is boiled in rock sugar to give the dish its sweetness, and is it said to have a slightly glutinous and chewy texture very much like our Tapioca sweet.
But for those of you who are still hungry why not try a lovely cheese plate and a warming coffee.. we saved the best for last enjoy
In Sardinia this is considered illegal, its name loosely (very) translated means maggot cheese and even though at first sight the cheese looks normal, when you find out how it is prepared it may change your mind. Made from sheep milk the cheese is prepared by being deliberately infected with the Piophila casei or “cheese fly. Only when the cheese is in a major state of decomposition caused by fly larve is it ready to eat.
But, it gets worse, the fly larvae can jump 6 inches from the cheese and do so in an attempt to enter the eaters eyes, the taste of the cheese can actually burn your tongue and the larvae can survive long enough to breed and bore holes in the cheese lovers intestines. So maybe in this case I’d recommend sticking to the coleslaw.