A delicious tradition

December is a few days away, and so too is the season of holly, tinsel, and carols. As we begin to prepare for all of the merry festivities, we are taking a look at one of the most loved, and most delicious Christmas traditions.

Christmas lunch or dinner is often the main event of the day, with gift-giving and activities planned for before or after. It is a time to gather with nearest and dearest and share a meal, be it a casual garden barbeque or an extravagant sit-down dinner. Every culture has its version of tradition, but largely western societies celebrate the reinvented medieval tradition of a glorious leg of ham.

Supposedly, the tradition stems from Germany, in an attempt to appease Freyr, the god of fertility and harvest. A wild boar was the sacrifice of choice for Freyr, and so they would feast during their Yuletide celebrations.

Today, the wild boar has been replaced by the pig, and now roast pork, or more commonly, the Christmas ham, a central part of many Christmas tables. Although there are the Victorian England traditions of goose and turkey, the ham was also a prominent main dish in British holiday traditions.

Whatever tradition or non-tradition your household chooses, having a centrepiece for your Christmas table is the best way to ensure bellies are full and happy, plus it looks beautiful when plated with a bit of festive finesse. See the next page for some delicious glaze ideas for this year’s ham, chicken or turkey.

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