Welcome and thank you for joining me this weekend,
With Christmas day only a fortnight away, I’ve been thinking about traditions. Traditions anchor us, they make us feel rooted and secure, but they can also make us feel stuck. Should we keep doing the same things just because we’ve always done them? If we don’t like Christmas pudding for instance, do we really need to have it every year because it’s tradition, or could we make new traditions and serve a different dessert instead?
I think the old can happily coexist with the new and there’s nothing wrong in creating traditions that belong specifically to us, or adopt some that belong to a different culture (cultural appreciation rather than appropriation).
Being Italian by birth but having lived in Britain since I was 20 and having dual nationality means I have incorporated traditions from both countries and now the Bottinelli family Christmas features a mixture of foods and customs from England and Italy. Panettone and torrone (nougat) happily coexist on December 25th, with the Italian and British sides of the family heartily enjoying both. We’ve made our new tradition out of old traditions and everyone’s happy with that.
How is the festive period celebrated in other countries? Read all about it in Christmas food traditions from around the world.
‘Food is not a religion, the rules keep changing’, says author and Professor of Epidemiology Tim Spector in this week’s podcast – another believer that evolving our approach to nutrition is certainly not a bad thing.
If you’ve been busy getting ready for Christmas and have missed out on current affairs, catch up with A week in news: further troubles brewing for farms – the latest food and drink headlines 5-9 December.
And talking of new, could cultivated turkey feature on our plates a few Christmases from now? Find out in Cultured meat: the future of food is slaughter-free. And if you love trying different dishes from different cultures, don’t miss our feature Traditional Emirati cuisine: from people’s homes to restaurant tables and see how other gastronomic traditions are changing with the times.
Wishing you a wonderful weekend,