Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Why people eat some "Christmas" foods

I love fruitcake. There, I said it! But people sneer--yes, they do.

Roger Adams, associate professor of the university archives at K-State, has studied traditional foods and says fruitcake got the bad rap because the recipes deviated from the 1487 cookbooks.

Fruitcake has become the ugly sweater of foods.

Fruitcake goes back to ancient Rome. This version was pine nuts, pomegranate seeds, and raisins in a barley mash. Barley mash--alcohol.

 The cake part was flour and eggs preserved with lard of suet. Butter becomes rancid over time.

Suparplums were an ideal treat for kids--they did not contain alcohol.

Mincemeat pies actually contained meat--as well as suet and dried fruits.

How about figgy pudding? Well, English puddings were more like cakes and contained raisins and other dried fruit (hence the figs).

Wassail is a warm punch. It was designed to be enjoyed by a warm fire.

Get out an old cookbook or get one from the library, Adams urges. Try something new--or new to you.

Oh--and feel free to send me any fruitcakes you spurn.

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