Delectable traditions for the season
Krysta Anderson, Gleaner Writer
Christmas is almost here so you know what that means? 'Tis the season to be jolly with family, friends and, of course, food. Several aromas often dance in the cool air as the family prepares for the grand Christmas dinner.
Some of the savoury and sweet offerings traditionally devoured during the holiday season have become must-haves on and off the table. Food has compiled a list of local delectable Christmas customs that have stood the test of timely indulgence.
Fruitcake: The almighty fruitcake has become a staple in the household for Christmas. Soaked in fruits, swimming in a sea of intoxicating wines and rum, some make an event out of the cake's baking process. The deemed Christmas cake is consumed as a snack up to the main event and is often times eaten as dessert after the big dinner.
Ham: The meats of all meats for the Christmas dinner. Never has one processed meat been so widely scoffed all in one day. When all else fails, the ham has to be up front and centre on the dinner table. The leftover makes delicious sandwiches and the bone, in Jamaica, is famous for making a flavourful soup.
Curried goat: If the family members are meat lovers, then this tradition definitely exists within your household. Eating this meat for Christmas is a distinctively Jamaican practice. In a rural setting, the goat is reared for this specific purpose, later sacrificed for the greater good of our appetites.
Sorrel: This is by far the Christmas drink. The fruit bears its natural goodness just in time for the jolly season, and is best prepared with desired spirits.
Pork: So as if the ham isn't enough, the pork is supplied to satisfy the diehard protein lovers of the family.
Chicken: This varies from family to family, and may take the form of fried, baked, roasted, curried, stewed, and many others. The chicken, often born and raised on the countryside, is given no choice but to surrender to the stove and seasoning, with the outcome being nothing less than purely pleasing perfection.
Fish/seafood: This variety is preference for those seeking to spice up their palate with something different. For some in the family who do not eat meat, this is an alternative.
Gungo peas and rice: Out with the red and in with the green - gungo peas, that is. Its popularity stems from the peas being in season at that particular time and so it is utilised in all its culinary capacity in the kitchen.
Eggnog: We could not leave out the drinks, and what better way to celebrate Christmas than with some good eggnog, sweet, creamy and rum-based - a soothing combination.
Rum punch: Where there is a fruit punch to wash down a fabulous Christmas dinner, there is a spiked batch specially made, ready to sip and enjoy.
Candy canes: This red and white striped sugary delight gained stardom just for the Christmas and is usually a sweet treat for children and the child at heart.
So there you have it. Christmas isn't just a season; it is a feeling, so feel free to join in on the festivities, dining with these signature dishes and drinks in mind.