The holiday season is that one time of year where it seems the kitchen is constantly busy. Even though the kitchen is the heart of the home any other day of the year, that special time between Thanksgiving and Christmas tends to create more traffic than the other months. It’s during this time of year that traditions are made and handed down. Whether it’s passing down your great grandmother’s holiday cherry pie recipe or starting a holiday cookie baking tradition with your kids, it all starts and stops in the kitchen.
While we’re all familiar with American holiday traditions, we figured that this would be a good time to discuss the importance of family and highlight a few holiday traditions that currently exist elsewhere. Here, Copper Chef reviews some very special holiday cooking traditions from around the world.
Referred to as Noel, the Christmas season in France actually starts on December 6 and comes at the end of their 12 days of holiday celebration. Typically there is a lot of eating and children leave out shoes for Le Pere Noel (Santa Claus) to leave them gifts. However, a classic French holiday food is the Bûche de Noël. This classic cake takes the shape of a yule log and is the quintessential symbol of the French holiday season.
Like many other parts of the world, Italy has a very family-centered theme for Christmas. Instead of writing letters to Santa, Italian children write letters to their parents expressing their love and gratitude. It’s a rather beautiful display of affection that is apparent throughout the entire holiday season. In addition to filling their hearts, Italians have a preferred holiday treat that fills their stomachs: Stuffoli. Stuffoli Is a lemon zest and hazelnut filled fried nugget. It is topped with sugar and sprinkles, and are the perfect bite-sized treat for the season.
Christmas is a very religious and holy time of year for Grecians. They typically commemorate the holiday with a midnight mass on Christmas Eve and sprigs of basil hanging throughout their homes to ward off evil spirits. It’s a time of cleansing, spirituality, and family. It’s also a time to make Kourabiedes. Kourabiedes are a shortbread and almond extract cookie covered in powdered sugar. The more sugar the better for these little delights.
No matter where you are in the world, this time of year brings about two things: togetherness and good food. It doesn’t matter where you choose to celebrate or how you choose to celebrate, just enjoy the time and the ones you are with. We hope you find the time to make your own traditions this year and pass down ones to continue them for years to come.