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Holiday Food Traditions

The Origins of 15 Holiday Foods and Drinks | Mental Floss

Many of us celebrate the holidays with unique foods passed down for generations. We may serve them on a special occasions or specific season days. Apples are another stocking stuffer that may seem mundane but are steeped in history. The most apparent ties that the apple has to this festive holiday stem from religion, and it’s not only the story of Adam and Eve stealing fruit from the tree of knowledge. Chestnuts symbolize goodwill and are tied to the patron saint of soldiers, tailors, winemakers, and the poor Saint Martin of Tours. Saint Martin was a reformed soldier more interested in becoming a monk than harming his fellow humans. Gingerbread Houses, the first gingerbread recipe, can be traced back to Greece around 2,400 BCE. However, gingerbread houses as we know them were a German creation that arose during the 16th century. By the early 19th century, gingerbread houses were already a holiday thing. ┬áThe Brothers Grimm and their disturbing fairy tales boosted this architectural confection to a new level in the 1812 tale of Hansel and Gretel. Midsummer is almost a high holiday in Sweden. This country, closer than most to the North Pole, enjoys a brief summertime period when plants and food can grow. Summer begins in May, peaks in June, and is over by September when the frigid dormant season begins. There’s an old joke about Sweden. It has three seasons this winter, last winter, and next winter. On the eve before Midsummer, Swedes pick flowers and make wreaths. On the day of Midsummer, the menu includes different kinds of pickled herring and boiled new potatoes with sour cream, red onion, and fresh dill. These traditional foods may be followed by ribs or grilled fish, along with the first strawberries of the summer.

Comment below with your favorite family food traditions that you celebrate and look forward to each year. Happy holidays, everyone, and have a great break!

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