Whether the snow is fluttering through the air, the holidays call for family gathering, celebrations, and food. Menus vary throughout the world, depend widely on religion, but most include some form of sweet treat for after the meal (or for picking at when no one is looking).
After surveying 2,000 US citizens, UK-based Holiday Cottages found that Americans aren’t that familiar with every day desserts. 84 percent of Americans don’t know what a Welsh cake was. Eccles cakes, a pastry filled with currants, and Bakewell tarts are the least known British desserts, with 94 percent and 94.7 percent, respectively not knowing what they are. Interestingly, 29 percent of respondents know what custard creams are, whereas only 17 percent know of Bourbon’s, which is a chocolate version of a custard cream.
Since the knowledge of tradition desserts lacked in the states, www.holidaycottages.co.uk decided to share the UK’s top holiday desserts and why they think Americans should know more about them.
This treat, which is traditionally served with thick vanilla custard, is packed with fruits and warming brandy. Originating in medieval England, Christmas pudding is aged for at least a month, sometimes even a year, and the alcohol content prevents it from spoiling.
In the UK, a mince pie is a small, individual sized pie filled with fruit-based mincemeat and the top is sprinkled with spices such as cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. When brought to the US by the Puritans, as they did not celebrate Christmas, it switched to be associated with Thanksgiving. However, the ingredients from both the American and the British mincemeat is not quite the same. Some include beef, while others have decided to omit it.
Meant to resemble an actual yule log, it is very similar to a Swiss roll. After iced, a bark-like texture is added and then sprinkled with powdered sugar to resemble a Yule log in the snow. To decorate, many people use actual tree twigs, fresh berries, and mushrooms made of marzipan or meringue.
Typically made with fruit, a thin layer of sponge cake that has been soaked in Sherry, and custard, and then topped with whipped cream. It is usually suspended by fruit-flavoured Jell-o in order for it to layer. A similar version is popular in the Southern US states called Tipsy Cake.
Usually made with dried fruits, nuts, and a dash of brandy, Christmas cake is definitely one of those desserts that vary from family to family. The cake could be dark or light, crumbly or wet, and could be in any shape. This can be similar to an American fruitcake, but aren’t given as gifts. Similar to a King cake at Mardi Gras, with a baby added to it, a coin is added and whoever gets the coin will experience wealth within the year.
Holiday Cottages created a map to help discover more about England than just London, which can be found at here.