For most of us the Christmas trees are lit, the presents wrapped, and the kitchen stocked. But for such an international team, as we are at Travel Gluttons, exactly what we will be eating (or reminiscing about) come Christmas Day varies greatly from house to house. Here are some of our best Christmas food memories, and we hope that you have a wonderful time creating some of your own on December 25th.
Our Christmas Food Memories
Home Country: I originate from the United Kingdom and grew up in North Devon, that’s where I consider myself from, but as for my home country, then it has to be the Netherlands. Saying that, my favourite snack/food from Christmas time would be from the UK.
Favourite Christmas Food from Home: Twiglets
The Memory: It holds a childhood memory for me and invokes a lot of other things, that in days gone by, growing up I associated only with Christmas. Also I am a marmite lover.
Home Country: I come from France but I have lived abroad for 13 years. Therefore, I feel more like a citizen of the world. Home is where my husband and children are. I tend to build my nest wherever we move.
Favourite Christmas Food from Home: The perfect French Christmas feast includes raw oysters, baked snails, foie gras, roasted capon, and a delightful bûche de Noël (Yule log).
The Memory: Sadly, oysters make me sick but I can’t imagine Christmas without snails. Growing up, I used to wander along the small paths in the country side of Southern Burgundy. The snails come out of hiding right after the rain. I used to pick them with my brothers, keep them for weeks, cleanse them. My grandmother would then prepare them for the big feast. Every Christmas, I was so eager to get my share! The foie gras is another typically French delight. My mother used to make her own. Each region has its own secret mix of spices. The Yule log embodies the holiday yumminess by excellence. Frozen or fresh, it comes in many flavours. Just the perfect ending for this special celebration.
Home Country: France
Favourite Christmas Food from Home: Foie gras mi-cuit
The Memory: It is all about the taste, which depends on who cooked it, what they put in it (herbs, cognac, etc.), and also the quality of the foie is very important. The texture is also particular: the foie has to be firm and yet, it has to melt in the mouth. The best foie gras I haver tasted is one made by my stepmother. She chose a very good quality foie, she removed all the veins very carefully and she cooked it with cognac: her foie gras was simply phenomenal. It had the taste, inter alia, of hazelnut and was served at the right temperature (not too cold, not too warm). It’s an art!
Home Country: My home country is Suriname (where I was born) and the Netherlands (where I was raised). My mother is from British-Guyana, but I have only been there as a baby, so I have no recollection of the country, but I do not want to leave that part out. 🙂
Favourite Christmas Food from Home: A very popular thing to eat during Christmas is the Christmas bread. A bread filled with raisins, almond paste, candied peel, and other good stuff, covered with powdered sugar.
The Memory: It just screams Christmas when you eat this, and it’s almost as though Christmas is not complete unless you eat this.
Home Country: This is a tough question to answer but I guess Hong Kong.
Favourite Christmas Food from Home: There’s no traditional Christmas meal in Hong Kong and you can pick any cuisine – Chinese, Egyptian, Mexican, you name it – you like on Christmas. But why stick with one cuisine when you can have a delicious spread of everything to keep you happy?
The Memory: Whenever I spent Christmas in Hong Kong, my family would go to a Christmas buffet at a fancy hotel (instead of having a 9-course meal around a round table at a Chinese restaurant). A buffet is nice as you can swap seats and talk to everyone without yelling across the table. Hong Kong people love their seafood, so many good buffets feature an impressive collection of fresh seafood – such as fresh oysters, lobsters, crabs, sashimi, and sushis. A roast beef cart is another thing to look forward to in a buffet. There’s usually a nice waiter standing behind the cart to carve the beef for you – a nice slice of roast beef with a spoonful of gravy on top is all you need. Christmas buffets usually feature a turkey somewhere that comes with cranberry sauce and gravy – if you’re really lucky, you may find stuffing too. But they are “hong kong-ized” stuffing that just doesn’t taste the same. Or maybe I was just too distracted by the amazing spread of fresh seafood in the buffet.
Home Country: Croatia
Favourite Christmas Food from Home: Dried cod made into as pâté (cooked until its soft, not chewy anymore, where your whole house stinks of fish). Cod mixed with parsley, olive oil, garlic, and salt – need I say more?
The Memory: I always feel like eating cod is doing the best for my body – lots of proteins, fat, and freshness.
Home Country: My home country is Indonesia but since my family don’t celebrate Christmas and don’t have Christmas tradition, I will pick Germany.
Favourite Christmas Food from Home: Goulash soup with deer meat served in bread, roasted mushrooms and roasted chestnuts: those which we can easily find in Germany’s Christmas market.
The Memory: It was my first Christmas experience in Europe and we went to the Christmas market in Erfurt. Surrounded by so many food stands and attractions, I felt like Alice in Wonderland 🙂
Home Country: Hungary
Favourite Christmas Food from Home: I don’t have a favourite – I love all these: Bejgli, stuffed cabbage (it’s an amazing dish, quite heavy but amazing flavours and great to eat cold), and Zserbo – my grandma (dad’s mum) baked the best ever!
The Memory: No special story, just the fact, especially since I moved away, that Christmas is the time when the whole family gets together and things slow down. It’s a great time to unwind after a long year.
Home Country: Bulgaria
Favourite Christmas Food from Home: Cinnamon pumpkin pie with walnuts!
The Memory: The smell is what gets me every time.
Home Country: USA
Favourite Christmas Food from Home: Christmas cookies
The Memory: It has been quite some time since I have spent a Christmas at “home” making choosing a favourite food rather tricky. But when you pair food with memories, there is one that always springs to mind and that is Christmas cookies. In the run up to Christmas it was always a project, together with my mum, to make all sorts of cookies – everything from peanut butter cookies to oatmeal cookies, and plenty in between. Yum!