The Christmas period brings about many things – popup grottos, mince pies and twinkling fairy lights being but a few of them. For food lovers everywhere, though, the festive season represents a change from the usual artisanal avocado toasties to larders filled with everything from honey-roasted turkey to succulent Germanic pastries.
Many of these much-loved seasonal delicacies have their roots deep within European Christmas markets. If you’ve ever spent any of December shopping or browsing around them, then you’ll know of the buzz which reverberates around the various stalls and stands. It’s not just an opportunity to pick up souvenirs or last-minute presents, it’s a chance to sample regional delicacies you’d never get to eat elsewhere. Oh, and scout around for cute Santa dolls to put up on the mantelpiece.
This year, we’re bringing a slice of continental culinary goodness to the blogosphere. We’ve challenged twelve top food and travel bloggers to come up their own recipe, each inspired by one of Europe’s Christmas markets. Stock your cupboards with a selection of herbs, spices and whatever ingredients our bloggers throw at you – you’ll thank us when your Christmas dinner consists of a collection of treats which span all the way from the Mediterranean and across Central, Eastern and Western Europe.
Of course, you’ll also see recipes which come from a little closer to home – all of which will be laced with enough Christmas cheer to send Rudolf round the world twice and then back again. If you’re stuck for present ideas, too, you can always resort back to giving out some of the gems we’ll be dishing out for 12 Days of Blogmas.
We’ll be sharing recipes which are perfect for a family night in – think biscuits and cakes which’ll help you to really sink into your chair – alongside modern, vegan and gluten-free recipes which make use of locally sourced, sustainable ingredients. Even the mere taste of garlic or onions can be enough to send your taste buds across the North Sea to Bavaria, where children lay out treats for St Nicholas rather than the tubby bearded chimney-hopper we know (and love) as Santa Claus.
On the first day of Christmas (and all the way up to the twelfth) you’ll be kept busy in the kitchen with dreams of European markets dancing away in the back of your mind. Get a pot of hot, spiced mulled wine on the hot pot and let’s all hope for a white Christmas!