Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Christmas Fifty

When I posted the link to my Omnivore's 100 over at Very Good Taste, I discovered they've since added a Christmas Fifty. I must try this, too.

In the spirit of the Omnivore’s Hundred, I present the Very Good Taste Christmas Fifty; fifty foods and drinks from around the world. As with the Hundred, there are some items in here that will seem commonplace, and a lot of items you may never have heard of (with Wikipedia links to help you out).

Because it’s a Christmas list, it slants heavily towards food from countries with a strong Christian tradition, particularly Europe, and especially Germanic countries. No-one does Christmas like the Germans. You’ll naturally find a fair number of sweet things on the list - and a few boozy treats as well. Also, because Christmas is often as much about cooking for friends and family as it is about eating, this time I want you to mark the items you’ve prepared as well as the ones you’ve eaten.

Here’s what to do:

1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve tasted.
3) Place an asterisk after all the items you’ve cooked/prepared.
4) Optional: Cross out anything you never want to try, or add an exclamation mark after anything your really want to try.

You’re also welcome to post a link to your version of the list here at

The VGT Christmas Fifty

1. Crystallised or candied fruits - only in fruitcake
2. Egg nog - my eldest daughter makes her own and it's amazing!
3. Bûche de Noël, or Yule log - We used to have one every Christmas and used it as Baby Jesus' birthday cake
4. Rum balls - made these with the Bear a couple of years ago
5. Bebinca - never had it, willing to try
6. Roasted chestnuts - had it, not overly impressed
7. Cavallucci - I don't think I've had this, willing to try
8. Tourtière - never had it, willing to try
9. Uszka - never had it, willing to try
10. Port & Stilton - never had it, willing to try
11. Hallaca - never had it, willing to try
12. Roast goose - had it, set the oven on fire with it, didn't much care for it
13. Lefse - never had it, willing to try
14. Sugar plums - had them, they're okay.
15. Romeritos - never had them, willing to try
16. Pinnekjøtt - never had them, willing to try
17. Hot toddy - I think I've had this once
18. Christmas cake - I feel like this may be more specific than just cake at Christmas. If not, I've had it, and enjoyed it.
19. Tamales - had them, enjoyed them, would have them again. I haven't associated them with Christmas, though
20. Sorpotel - never had it, willing to try
21. Panettone - tried it. It's okay.
22. Candy canes - Santa puts them on the tree every year
23. Pasteles - I can't remember having this before, but I'd try it
24. Speculaas - I've had these as Dutch Windmill cookies. Again, not associated with Christmas, just as a cookie. They were good.
25. Makowiec - I've had these and enjoyed them.
26. Christmas pudding - if that's plum pudding, I've had and enjoyed it.
27. Stollen - every Christmas morning when I was growing up
28. Figgy pudding - never had it, would like to try
29. Lebkuchen - had them, love them.
30. Turrón - I only heard about this for the first time this year. Never had them, but willing to try
31. Mince pies - had them, don't like them.
32. Wassail bowls - would like to try, but never had before
33. Buñuelos - I've made these and enjoyed them
34. Pio Quinto - I've had something similar. Isn't this basically trifle?
35. Marzipan fruits - every Christmas when I was married to a man with strong ties to his German heritage
36. Mulled wine - tried it once. It's okay
37. King cake - had this on Fat Tuesday a couple of years
38. Christmas beach barbecue - no...I've never lived anywhere warm enough to have a beach barbecue at Christmas. I don't think I'd want to.
39. Cola de mono - never had it, willing to try it
40. Lutefisk - never had it, would try it if offered, but wouldn't seek it out.
41. Kutia - never had it, but it sounds good.
42. Pizzelle - had them, but not associated with Christmas
43. Dominostein - never had it, willing to try
44. Cranberry sauce - ohmyyes. It's not the holidays without it
45. Pfeffernüsse - one of my favorite Christmas treats
46. Satsumas or clementines - unlikely I'd try these, since I'm allergic to oranges
47. Pumpkin pie - my absolutely favorite kind of pie
48. Smalahove - never had it, willing to try
49. Nut roast - I've never heard of it, but it sounds interesting. I'm willing to try
50. Brandy butter - it sounds like this is hard sauce. If so, I've definitely had it. Not bad.

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