As Andy Williams used to sing, Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year. Spent with family, friends, presents, cheesy music and old films, Christmas is a time when most of us come together to celebrate our love for one another. But we also come together to eat, and to eat a lot.
A Christmas belly
Christmas is so linked to food that more often than not, we all make our bellies a little bigger over the festive period, with one study undertaken in the UK suggesting that Brits gain an average of 2.2 pounds over the two-week period! It’s hardly surprising though, given how delicious the food we eat during this holiday is. In fact, with the festive season on the horizon, let’s run through a few classics to get in the mood.
- Roast turkey: A famously difficult dish to get right, roast turkey is an essential part of a Christmas spread. When cooked well, with the bird cooked through but not dried out, the skin smothered in butter and crisped, and the juices from the bird made into a delicious gravy, you really can’t do better than this.
- Stuffing: Stuffing is underrated. Too often just an afterthought, bought cheaply and stuffed into the turkey to keep it moist inside, stuffing is an art form in and of itself. Gooey, herby and full of flavour, this dish, made from sausage meat and dried fruit and baked either on its own or in the turkey, gives another meaning to comfort food.
- Mashed potato: Another classic, mashed potato when done well is to die for. Par-boiled and then mashed with copious amounts of butter and a splash of milk, good mashed potato is up there with the Great Wall of China as a wonder of the modern world. Cooked just right, it’ll be pillowy, creamy and delicious.
- Eggnog: Admittedly this is not food, but it is an essential part of Christmas. For those who haven’t tried it, eggnog is basically a form of milk ‘punch’, with milk combined with cream, egg whites, yolk, cinnamon and some kind of distilled spirit, preferably bourbon.
- Panettone: This is a bit more out of the box. Panettone is essentially Italian Christmas cake, and oh boy is it delicious. Where traditional Christmas cake can be stodgy and a bit dense, panettone is a tall, buttery, dried-fruit-filled sweet loaf. It’s at its best when slightly warm and served with a sliver of butter melting into its soft dough. Duke Bakery make a great one all year round.
Where to try in Singapore
If all this has made you hungry for some early festive food, then there are plenty of places in Singapore you can go. Roastmania does a fantastic whole roasted Turkey, while Brotzeit makes sweet, pillowy mash. And for afters? You can’t go wrong with Duke Bakery’s panettone.