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Why do we have such a feast at Christmas?

Why do we have such a feast at Christmas?

The origin of the Christmas feast comes from the Christian religion. To celebrate the coming of Christ, the period leading up to Christmas was marked by a period of “lean days”. We did not eat meat then. On Christmas Eve, before going to night mass, it was customary to eat only a little bread, fish or vegetable broth and a glass of water. Returning from the church, the “fatty meal” was then in order, to follow the long service of the night and the road made back from the church. “Fat meal” also called Christmans Eve!

Finally, we should rather talk about Christmas traditions. Indeed, each countries has its own customs, vestiges of a history rich in heritage but the idea of being with friends or family around a table with good food and especially taking the time to eat together is found in all countries. What varies is the menu.

For example :

The Christmas tradition meal in Canada and United State

The turkey with stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, and vegetables such as carrots, turnip, parsnips, etc. Other types of poultry, roast beef, or ham are also used. For dessert, pumpkin or apple pie, raisin pudding.

Although turkey is still the most popular meal to serve at Christmas, a traditional Quebecois dish is called Tourtière. Tourtière is a French Canadian meat piedish originating from the province of Quebec. It is made with minced pork, veal or beef. 

The Christmas tradition meal in France

Foie gras, oysters, smoked salmon, turkey with chestnuts, chocolate. These products have not always been part of the traditional Christmas menu.

Turkey and chocolate did not appear until the 16th century. Before that, there were mostly white or red blood sausage, goose or duck. It was indeed at this time of year that pigs and poultry were slaughtered on farms. 

In Italy :

Depending on the region, there are antipasti, pasta and / or bollito misto (a kind of stew) at Christmas. They finish the meal with panettone (brioche stuffed with raisins and candied fruit) in the North, panforte (almonds, candied fruit and honey) in the Center or donuts in the South.

In Germany :

The goose is in the spotlight. Grilled, it is served with red cabbage and apples (the Weihnachtsgans). The meal ends with the Stollen, a bread with dried and candied fruits, garnished with almond paste.

In United Kingdom:

They have the famous roasted turkey accompanied by cranberry sauce. For dessert, they make a Christmas pudding (also found in Ireland). It is a cake consisting of dried fruits, fat (originally kidneys) and molasses, all spiced up with spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger) and mince pie (small pies stuffed with dried fruits and spices). 

In the Antilles:

Christmas ham and Creole black pudding are very popular products at Christmas.

What will be your menu for Christmas ?

Next week Meat & Meet Market will propose you a few different menu easy to do with special recipes.

Visit Meat & Meet Market

Visit our market store located at Le Phare Bleu Marina and check out our selection. We can easily be accessed by car or dinghy. And make sure to get our price list and sign up for our newsletter to hear about our weekly specials, recipes, locally sourced goodies, and much more. Leave your name and email below.

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