weeks about an hour, I’ve been looking all over the internet to figure out what a traditional Christmas menu looks like. What I’ve determined is that there are a number of overlapping classic “christmasy” treats, but the typical menu varies from household to household, region to region, country to country.
Regardless of the beautiful patchwork of diverse Christmas traditions, I chose 10 Christmas classics to judge with my completely discerning Jewish attitude. Some of the dishes I chose are for the feast, some for parties, gifts or the spirited days leading up to the main event.
Here are 10 Christmas treats, ranked In order from least to most awful:
- Champagne- Champagne is apparently traditional Christmas fare and it totally counts as a food because if I could only consume one thing for the rest of my life, it’d be bubbly. Champagne is #1 on the nice list.
- Santa’s Cookies- These are the cookies that I guess people leave out in their homes for family pets, vermin, insomniacs and mythical creatures to snack on while children sleep. Cookies are delicious.
- Prime Rib- Christmas feats seem to typically involve some sort of giant meaty centerpiece, as far as big hunks of meat go, prime rib is a succulent option. Don’t be stingy about the a jus, Scrooge.
- Gingerbread- When done right, this spicy treat is a cookie that’s moist, a little chewy and shaped like a tiny person wearing buttons and a bow-tie. Biting their heads off is my favorite reindeer game.
- Ham- Another option for a meaty centerpiece, Christmas hams are pretty hit or miss. If you get a good piece, you are in for a mouthful of sweet porcine delight, but if you get a bad piece, you get a mouthful of pure fat and it’s gross.
- Mashed Potatoes- This is a controversial opinion, but mashed potatoes are boring. Compared to almost every other way to prepare taters, mashing them up into a paste is tragically bland.
- Oyster Stew- I like slurping up my oysters chilled for $1 a pop at a Brooklyn “Oyster Happy Hour.” How am I supposed to feel like a sea witch or like the Walrus and the Carpenter if I’m devouring oysters with a spoon?
- Black Pudding- To be honest, I find these little pucks of clotted blood to be delicious, but I am a disgusting carnivorous mutant. Even I can recognize that eating scabs is awful.
- Lutefisk- Eve Vawter, the Supreme of my coven and editor of Mommyish, informed me that lutefisk is Midwestern Christmas-fare. This is admittedly a dish that this coastal Jew has never sampled…and never will. I won’t eat lye, not for Santa Claus and not for anyone.
- Fruit Cake- Fact: no one has ever even tasted fruit cake.