Christmas food

A brief history of Christmas food

No discussion of the holidays is complete without talking about traditional foods and favorite family dishes. And to be sure, every family has its own traditions when it comes to Christmas meals. From oysters to ham, sweet potatoes to green bean casserole, some dishes are just synonymous with the holidays.

But have you ever stopped to consider why these dishes have come to occupy such an honored place on your table? No, because you're probably too worried about where all your guests are going to sleep and whether you have enough comforters to go around. So here's a brief history of Christmas food that you'll want to share after having a few cocktails on an empty stomach before the big meal. Starting with everyone's favorite…

Fruitcake. Has there ever been a food as universally maligned as fruitcake? Nope. Can't think of any. The butt of jokes for comedians on late night talk shows and every bad Christmas movie ever made, fruitcake got its origin sometime during the Paleolithic era. Or so it seems, judging from the texture of the "fruit" you encounter in every bite. LOL.

Actually, fruitcake originally contained such diverse ingredients as monogrammed bath towels, duvet covers and throw pillows. Ok, I may have made that up for SEO purposes, but the fact remains that fruitcake used to have different stuff in it than it does today. What those ingredients actually were has been lost to history, and what survives is a dry, crumbly cake-like substance filled with objects that may have been fruit at one point in their lifetime but now are more like brightly colored pencil erasers in terms of texture.

(For the record, my mother-in-law — God rest her soul — used to make a delicious fruitcake. I don't know how she did it or what was in it, and she took her secret recipe with her when she passed, but I for one remember it fondly every year and raise a glass to her memory.)

As for the history of other holiday favorites, we suggest you visit any website other than one that sells clothing. We can talk for hours about things like needlepoint Christmas stockings or polo shirts, but when it comes to the history of green bean casserole, well, we're out of our league.

On a side note, we do sell polos with stain-release abilities, so if you get any gravy on yourself, it'll come out easily in the wash.

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