Foodie’s choice for Christmas | Sunday Observer

Foodie’s choice for Christmas

After indulging in an assortment of food and drink through 2017, where do we begin at the Christmas table? I am sure this is one of the thought provoking questions among young folks, especially the emancipated foodies. We continue to wage a culinary war in terms of balancing our traditional food with the growing influence of western cuisine (come to think of it all Christmas dishes we enjoy are of Dutch and British origin). Each dish releases a form of nostalgia, centering on family and relatives.

Global food trends keep changing. Since last year the most popular dish in December was the Prosecco Turkey, which yielded staggering revenue of almost 500 million dollars in sales, wow. This succulent dish is tastefully presented with the turkey being stuffed with pork, veal and Italian herbs. Prosecco is an Italian white wine made from Glera grapes. This wine seals its fragrance on the turkey giving it a “new retro” feel. The concept of eating turkey in our island has not yet been fully endorsed; gosh the bird is costly and takes time to cook in comparison to the humble rooster or grandma’s black pork curry. Yet the trend is seeing an increase via hotels. Food analysts (yes they do exist) have identified a sweet sensation that made a majestic resurgence last year- the delightful black forest gateau. Yummy I would want a second serving. The dessert which reigned supreme in the 1970s is racing to be number 1, inclining even the weight watching gym freaks to eat. Ah it’s the holidays, even Santa has a tummy ya?

Change is a process. It takes time. 2017 has seen many new pulsating multi ethnic restaurants in Colombo and in few major cities. Guys and gals are going out to eat: it’s more of an adventure, the romance a positive bonus. Eating out is more about the atmosphere and camaraderie for us, whilst we relish the items on the menu. Music also adds to the enjoyment of the meal. Going back 2 decades things were not that “chic” in Colombo which still had a culinary imprint of Ceylon. We enjoyed feasting on the rich cake, date cake and love cake (enhanced with a kiss from a burgher girl). The wines were home made using exotic fruits, the king coconut being the King of distilled delights.

Friends under the mild influence of rustic tropical wine would sing the college song in chords of disharmony!! As I said before Dutch and British items were part of the lunch and dinner menu. We could not take selfies then, though the 80s and 90s girls were naturally embellished with beauty!! Pork, beef, liver, lingus (home made pork sausages laden with oil and guaranteeing a visit to the doctor in January) were top of the list. Corned beef from London and Canada added zeal to the meal.

Back to 2017 our food fantasies keep changing (similar to Kylie Jenner’s hair styles). Young people want to indulge and yet remain trim and slim, a daunting challenge. I have come across many vegetarians, which is cool but you can’t invite them to a BBQ? The calorie rich cakes are certainly not desired. The concept of sharing platters is up on the food ratings, and it looks good on facebook no, being surrounded by some girls? Pork, beef and poultry seem to be losing to seafood and other refined forms of carnivorous choice (did someone say soya or tofu). Dipping sauces are on: again they inspire fellowship and gossip. Our cravings for sweets are taking chic forms being “imprisoned’ in shot glass size portions, at least the chefs are happy its calculated portion control. Gone are the days of eating in bowls using a table spoon, listening to the Rolling Stones. I can assume this became a trend endorsed by the range of cute high tea delights. High tea is fun too, seeing the shorter lasses enhance their feminine aura with high heels!!! Drinking trends have changed with people going for more cocktails and fresh juices, besides beer belly guys don’t get hot dates, right. Cheese is also becoming popular at parties. Time management influences what we serve our guests today. So as we herald 2018 the traditional culinary charm of Christmas has changed. Perhaps next year we may enjoy a choco coated ginger bread roll encrusted in seaweed? Cheers and happy eating.