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Doing our research to prepare our Christmas articles, we found a very interesting website dedicated to Christmas. Among the many elements we singled out the descriptions of the foods and sweets that are traditionally consumed at the Christmas table. So in our new Christmas article we will get a taste of Christmas food and sweets from different countries of the world, we will get to know Royal Bee, a new Greek company from Chalkida that operates in the honey industry, and we will make with their honey our delicious Greek melomakarona to prepare for the upcoming holidays.
Our first stop is Argentina … There, the main Christmas meal is eaten on Christmas Eve, around 10-11pm. Some typical dishes are roast turkey, roast pork, vitel toné (beef slices with creamy sauce with anchovies and tuna), stuffed tomatoes, salads and many different sandwiches such as pan de atun (sandwiches with tuna), sandwiches de miga (sandwiches made with thin slices without the crust) and torre de panqueques (a cake with layers of tortillas and various fillings).
For dessert, Christmas bread, pan dulce and panetone, fruit salad, ice cream and various pies are served at the Argentine table. You will also find raisins with chocolate, caramelized nuts, mantecol (soft nougat made with peanut butter) and various types of turron (hard nougat).
On Christmas Eve in Belgium many families eat a special meal. It starts with an aperitif, then continues with an appetizer of possibly seafood and ends with stuffed turkey. The dessert is called Kerststronk or la bûche de Noël and is a Christmas sponge cake with chocolate coating that makes it look like a tree trunk.
In Australia, Christmas coincides with the beginning of the summer holidays. Many families eat together, usually on Christmas day. Most people eat a cold meal or seafood such as shrimp and lobster on the barbecue, along with traditional English food. These days the fish markets are full of people who want to get seafood for the festive table. For dessert, others eat traditional Christmas pudding, while others prefer cold pastries such as pavlova and trifle.
On Christmas Eve in Croatia they eat dried cod which is called bakalar since that day the Catholics fast the meat. At the festive table on Christmas day there is a turkey or a goose or a duck. As a side dish they often eat sarma (cabbage rolls stuffed with minced meat).
For dessert at the festive table there are various cookies and cakes, with donuts being very popular. You will find krafne (donuts filled with jam or chocolate) and fritule (donuts flavored with lemon and rum).
In Poland the main festive meal is eaten on Christmas Eve, which is called Wigilia. According to tradition, food begins as soon as the first star in the sky comes out! One of the most important dishes on the festive table is barszcz (beetroot soup). The soup is accompanied by uszka (small dumplings with mushrooms) or krokety (pancakes with mushrooms or cabbage). The main meal is usually fish, such as carp. Another Christmas preparation is bigos, made with cabbage, bacon and sometimes dried plums. It also contains pieces of meat or sausage. Because it contains meat, it is eaten on Christmas day.
After this mental journey to different countries of the world, it is time to return to our own Greek Christmas tradition… The journey to the festive tables of the world will continue in our next article. We will now start the festive preparations by making delicious and fragrant melomakarona. Let’s go to our kitchens!
Ingredients for melomakarona
|Cake flour||1000 gr|
|Sunflower oil||340 gr|
|Olive oil||140 gr|
|Powdered sugar||25 gr|
|Baking soda||1 tsp|
|Orange juice||350 gr|
|For the syrup:|
|Bitter almond extract||4-5 drops|
|Walnuts for sprinkling|
In our syrup to make the melomakarona fragrant and delicious we will use quality, organic honey from the company Royal Bee. Mr. Korovesis’s company deals with the packaging and standardization of honey, based in Nea Artaki, Chalkida. The honey is collected from areas of Evia and packaged in the modern and certified laboratory of the company. With modern packaging and standardization techniques, they achieve superior taste and high quality, offering consumers a pure honey.
How to make melomakarona
Start by preparing the syrup. In a saucepan pour the water, sugar, cinnamon stick and orange cut in half and bring to a boil. Boil for 3 minutes (since the syrup has started to boil) and remove from the heat. Then add the honey, so as not to lose its nutrients, and the bitter almond extract.
In a large bowl, pour the liquids, the powdered sugar (to give a nice color to the melomakarona), the baking soda and the spices and mix well. The more we beat the oil with the sugar, the more crunchy and fluffy the melomakarona will come out.
Then add all the flour together and knead lightly by hand (the flour does not need to be sifted). We do not want to knead them so that they do not take out the oil and come out very hard. Leave the dough covered for 20 minutes to rest. The dough should have a soft texture like plasticine.
Shape the dough into long narrow rolls and press it in the center to get the known shape. This year we made them round, shaping balls and pressing them with the grater. Υou can press them with a fork and make a pattern on the surface. This will help the melomakarona to suck syrup after cooking.
Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C for 25-30 minutes until they get a nice color and become crispy. Once cooked, as they are hot, dip them in lukewarm syrup for half a minute on each side. Place them on a plate and sprinkle with chopped walnuts.
Happy sweet Christmas creations to everyone! Get ready, in the second part of the article, Green kourabiedes are coming!
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