What are we eating for Christmas and why?
In this holiday feature, KSFR reporter Mary Lou Cooper talks with a University of New Mexico anthropologist and geographer about Christmas food traditions in America. Professor Ronda Brulotte is the author of “Edible Identities: Food as cultural heritage.”
So what are we eating and why? Brulotte says that our traditional Christmas foods are primarily adapted from the British. However, the turkey itself is an American addition. As immigrants from other countries arrived in the U.S., they brought their own culinary specialties to holiday tables. But adapting to American foods was viewed as part of assimilation.
Brulotte makes our mouths water with talk of a wide variety of sweets on the dessert table. She calls fruitcake the dessert we love to hate and is puzzled as to why we still make it. When it comes to drinks, Brulotte serves up eggnog with or without alcohol, champagne and a variety of celebratory fruit punches. Fruit punches evidently originated in India and then spread throughout the world. As for Brulotte herself, tamales will be on her holiday table. She learned how to make them while living in Mexico.
Music for this story is: "I We wish you a Merry Christmas" by Twin Musicom, CC By 4.0.