Christmas celebrations and festivities originally had abundance of meals. The dishes usually included lots of meat that helped the people to fight cold. Pigs, calves and poultry were usual choice of meats that were smoked, pickled in stoneware jars and were buried in snow or root cellars as filets, cutlets, hams, pigs' knuckles and trotters along with cheeses as an early preparation for Christmas festivities and winter holidays. In the Middle Ages, Mince Pie was quite popular during the Christmas, which is perhaps the oldest traditional Christmas dish.
Originally, finely chopped poultry, pheasant, partridge and rabbit were
mixed together well to make the Mince Pie but later sweet ingredients
were added to it such as sugar, apples, raisins and candied oranges and
lemons. Gradually, traditional Christmas pudding came into being by
eliminating meat and putting together only the sweet ingredients in the
17th century. English called this pudding as 'Hackin' as so many
ingredients were put into it. Later, even more sweets were added to it
to make the Plum Pudding that was often prepared on Christmas morning.
While serving this dish, it was sprinkled with brandy and flamed. This
caught on very well and soon replaced the original traditional Christmas
pudding. With time, traditional Christmas fruit cake evolved from the
Christmas pudding excluding the brandy or rum and including raisins,
dates, nuts and candied fruit in its recipe. This dark Christmas fruit
cake became popular all over the world, where kids especially love it.
Christmas cakes and puddings have become an essential Christmas ritual
today. People gift each other Christmas cakes to symbolize sharing
happiness and cheer during the holiday season.
Read about Christmas cake and Christmas pudding, traditional Christmas meals and traditions for festive Christmas meals here.