In different cultures we inevitably have varied traditions and food is a key part of our daily lives. There are some cultures that one can be forgiven for assuming to have similar Christmas traditions to each other. But these assumptions could be totally incorrect, as I discovered of English versus American Christmas eating habits.
I had considered it fair to expect that the English or Irish traditions might have made it across the seas to America together with the Immigrants from those countries. Yet I soon learned that the majority of Americans (including those of Irish or English descent) looked at me with a blank expression when I mentioned such things as Christmas cake, mince pies, Christmas plum pudding and brandy butter.
In America it is more usual to have Beef on Christmas day seeing as the turkey gets eaten for Thanksgiving in November. In the UK, Turkey is the most traditional Christmas fare. My American husband also enquired, when looking through old family photographs, as to why my family all seemed to be wearing ridiculous paper hats whilst sitting at the dining table! Clearly most Americans are not familiar with our English Christmas crackers!
Another funny “foodie” thing that happened appertains to the notion of what a coffee cake is. In America it is a term used to refer to any cake that is eaten with coffee. In my mind it is a cake that tastes of coffee.
I uncovered this anomaly by accident as my husband’s family had a coffee cake recipe that they had all enjoyed as a tradition each year on Christmas morning. I asked for the recipe as I was planning to make it. As I started mixing the ingredients together I told my husband that the recipe must be incorrect as no coffee was mentioned!
I am sure that there are many more differentials that distinguish between these two cultures and many other people like me who have enjoyed embarking upon this journey of discovery. The question of why these traditions are different provides food for further interesting discussion and debate upon another occasion.
As well as variances, there are also many similarities in feasting traditions, not least of all the quantity of food that is cooked and consumed during the holiday season. Perhaps a question that I should have asked is “How much did you eat on Christmas day?” Almost everyone I have talked to is mentioning the need to diet after partaking in rather a lot of Christmas feasting!
I wonder how many people will set as a New Year’s Resolution a goal of losing weight? If this is your goal, you might like to consider hypnosis to assist you in getting your mind focused clearly upon your target and to make it easier for you to create new eating habits for yourself.
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