You can pass the stuffing. But I’ll pass on almost everything else at Christmas dinner.
There are a whole host of foods that we in the north like to throw onto our holiday plates that are genuinely archaic.
We’ve progressed as a species
I think, so why hasn’t our holiday menu?
Thrown from my comfortable compliance into the realization that tradition doesn’t mean perfection, I’m sitting here poking holes (with a fork, naturally) in other aspects of our holiday meals, too.
Let’s begin at the end. They say, “life’s short so we should eat dessert first.”
I say, “life’s short so why would anyone eat fruitcake?”
Why fruitcake is rotten
Fruit, butter, sugar and rum: all excellent consumables. But this dessert is a prime example of a food item that is significantly less than the sum of its parts.
Dense and disgusting, this *shudder* moist cake comes from a time when people were desperate for something sweet. Today, accessible and significantly-more-pleasant options include pumpkin pie, apple crumble, a chocolate chip cookie or spooning Nutella from the jar.
You can’t convince me that there’s any reason to waste precious stomach space on something as unspectacular as fruitcake. Make like the Manitou Springs people and chuck it.
Shut your mincemeat pie-hole
Take fruitcake, crumble it up in your hands, dip it in something sticky, then plop it into a pie shell and call it mincemeat. That’s the exact science behind how mincemeat pie is made.
Probably not, but I digress.
Even the name is a turn-off. Mincemeat? Historically, mincemeat pie actually did have little tiny pieces of meat in it, but that’s not really a thing these days. Since that’s the case, can’t we update the name to give the sad, strange little pie a little bit more sex appeal?
How about fibrous pie, or squished bug tart? Looks like squished bugs.
Eggnog isn’t all that
What people think eggnog is going to taste like:
Eggnog / Shutterstock
What it actually tastes like:
Right up there with boiled pierogis, this one’s all about the texture.
Delicious smell aside, the mucous-like consistency of eggnog calls for the body to immediately reject it. The way it slides down your throat is reminiscent of a flu-ridden, congested and booger-ey nose draining itself back into your body.
So, the exact opposite of how we want to feel during the holidays.
Or ever. Mmm, snot.
But the vegan versions of this stuff can be great. I’m a big fan of the Holiday Nog by So Delicious. Warmed up, spiked, you have all the flavour and none of the weird textural experience.
Hot tip: it’s also great for making French toast.
Ham is not delicious
The aforementioned Man Repeller piece asks, “Have people eaten chicken before? HAM?” as an alternative to the decidedly-unappealing turkey.
To that, I say: “RT on the chicken. And how about duck?” But ham… ham is strange.
The user-experience is problematic. It feels rubbery, cheap and uncomfortably processed. And the flavour is spectacularly unspectacular.
My Christmas plate only has X amount of space on it, and ham is a decently-sized slab taking up Y amount of room. Let me swap that surface area out with some juicy duck and I will be significantly more jolly.
The greater good: obligatory stuffing shout-out
This is a dish that should be disgusting. The combination of bread that’s going stale, onions, celery, sausage and apples all mixed together and stuffed into a bird carcass doesn’t sound appealing at all.
But as soon as it hits the table, I want first dibs.
I will load my plate with stuffing three times over, no shame. The soft and savoury mixture is so perfectly seasoned that I daydream about it in the middle of summer. It’s so lovely that I’ll include it in leftover-sandwiches, along with cranberry sauce, potatoes and green bean casserole.
You can keep your glazed ham sandwich, sicko.
I’ll stick with my leftover chunks of bread and onions, stuffed inside other, bigger bread.