With the Christmas season nearly upon us, and the fact that we have been so ridiculously quiet over the last month or so (there is a lot to discuss and a few changes that will be happening to Eatosi moving forward) I’ve decided to look a bit at the food world in terms of flavours and style just to get a bit of a different take to the world of food storytelling.
We have worked with companies such as FlavourArt who specialise in food flavourings to research a few different areas of the Christmas and festive season to see what can be done when it comes to food flavourings.
It’s not just Christmas, but even thanksgiving
For the last few years I have celebrated thanksgiving with friends here in the UK. Now, you would probably ask “are they American?” the answer is, No. However we are all football fans (American Football) and the fact that we get to sit together, eat a load of food and spend time together is where stories are made and friendships created.
Now, thanksgiving does conjure up a lot of prejudices when it comes to the food and we have to thank TV for this; but what you need to focus on is the dessert.
Yes, pies (as in the sweet not savoury) are all the rage. Pecan Pie (the official state pie of Texas) can be traced as far back as the mid 1800’s, Sweet Potato pie goes as far back as the early 18th Century and the Pumpkin pie can be traced to Hannah Woolley’s The Gentlewoman’s Companion written in 1675.
To have a great thanksgiving requires having a great pie that bursts with flavour and can bring a tear to the most hardened of man’s eyes.
OK, but let’s not forget Christmas…
Not like this could happen considering in Europe we’re reminded of it as of August every year… But Christmas has become the big European holiday with most countries celebrating jolly St. Nicholas, the reindeer and yes, the Coca Cola van.
The biggest difference with Christmas in Europe is the variety of different meals that are available in the different countries as every nation has a specific date for the most joyous of food festivities.
Italy, France, Spain and Portugal have their big meal on Christmas Eve; expect to see things like, fried eel, oysters, salted codfish and even carp on the serving plates across the continent.
Of course, here in the UK no Christmas dinner is complete without two types of meats, a range of sides, sauces and a boozy Christmas pudding set to send you over the legal drink limit. With its origins tracing as far back as 1420, it wasn’t until the 1830s when the traditional pudding, which, was originally designed to preserve meats was then considered a Christmas dish.
The Christmas pudding is designed to be prepared weeks in advance so that you can flavour accordingly, not only with alcohol (although always essential) but also with spices and other flavourings.
Sides, Sauces and Salads
To make a real festive dish however, you need sides, sauces and yes, salads.
Let’s be clear salads need not be a boring addition to a family meal nor a festive celebration; they can actually be the star of the meal as Yottam Ottolenghi has demonstrated on more than one occasion. Of course, try and keep the ingredients as seasonal as possible such as walnuts and rocket!
What about roast potatoes I hear you scream, well yes, no Christmas meal can be done without them. Remember when Nigella Lawson said on TV, use goose fat? Goose fat sales quadrupled… Well here’s an Eatosi prediction for this Christmas, roast potatoes cooked with polenta, moreover a polenta topping. Yes, that’s right coast your roasties in polenta and enjoy the praise of family and friends whilst they ask for thirds and fourths…