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December 28, 2019
Christmas flavors from around the world

Ok, they may not be from all around the world but they are some classic, all-time favorite recipes from several places in the world, which I have tried all these years and adjusted them to my own taste, hoping that you will love them just like I did! Through this blog post, I will talk to you about some of the most delicious festive dishes and I will give you the recipes -at the same time- so that you will try them at home, along with your loved ones. So, what do you think?  Shall we look at them all one by one?

Christmas honey cookies- Melomakarona by the Greek chef Akis Petretzikis

Melomakarona from Greece

It started out as a treat that was served in funerals, in the form of a pie (called makaria). But wait a second…What does that have to do with Christmas? How did melomakarona, these sweet honey cookies, end up being an indispensable part of the Greek Christmas traditions? There are two possible versions: According to the first one, as years went by, people started adding honey syrup to this pie and then, the treat was named melomakarono (from the words “makaria” that was the pie and “meli” which is honey in Greek). Due to the fact that honey was a symbol of welfare, people started consuming melomakarona during the holidays, since welfare was their only wish for the new year. The second version is that melomakarona was a kind of treat that was offered during the celebration of the winter solstice by ancient Greeks, in late December. Therefore, year by year, this dessert ended up being the classic festive treat, as Christmas is celebrated in the same period of time!

> So, here you will find 5 secrets and many wonderful recipes to make the best melomakarona in the world! As soon as they are ready, you can prepare Kourabiedes (almond snowballs) and Diples (honey rolls), and then, take a look at the Vasilopita (New Year’s Cake): Tsoureki, cake, or both? The traditional Greek festive desserts are plenty and I have the best recipes for all of them!

Mini panettone by the Greek chef Akis Petretzikis

Panettone from Italy

Now, let’s go to our beloved Italy! It doesn’t matter where you are -there, in Greece, or anywhere else- you will definitely come across a fluffy Panettone during the holidays. Why? Because this dessert has managed -undoubtedly- to conquer the whole world. It is a kind of sweet bread loaf, loaded with candied fruits, while it can also contain chocolate pieces or nuts. It was created early in the 20th century and it is said that for its preparation, they had to leave the dough to rise for about 20 hours so that the Panettone would get both its characteristic consistency and its final shape.

> Here, I have my own, delicious Mini Panettone for you – you will have to wait only 2 hours for the rising of their dough! As for their taste? Simply U-N-I-Q-U-E!

Flaming Christmas pudding by the Greek chef Akis Petretzikis

Christmas pudding & Mince pies from England

It first appeared in the Middle Ages, totally different than it is today. You see, back then, ingredients were not divided in sweet and savory – on the contrary, everything could go in this pudding that might even include…ground meat! And while it was firstly made of leftovers, it gradually evolved into a more gourmet dessert until it ended up -traditionally- including 13 ingredients (for the 12 Apostles and Jesus Christ), while all the members of the family had to mix the pudding together, for their good luck. It is an impressive dessert which is served flambe, after being poured with brandy.

> Do you want to enjoy my own version of this classic pudding? Then, all you have to do is to prepare the recipe I have for you! You will find it here :-)

Mince pies by the Greek chef Akis Petretzikis

And let’s get to the Mince pies. It is a classic Christmas dessert that made its appearance around the 13th century. Now, if you are wondering how can a dessert be linked to…minced meat, I will answer you right away: Minced meat was originally part of the ingredients needed to make this dessert! Nowadays, the word “mincemeat” refers to the filling (maybe due to its looks or texture) which includes only dried fruits and spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.

> This is the version I have prepared for you and -believe me- it is deliciousnot only during the holidays but at any time of the year! The recipe is here. 

Christmas log with chocolate by the Greek chef Akis Petretzikis

Bûche de Noël from France

It is the very well-known chocolate yule log which, according to tradition, symbolizes a piece of tree trunk that people -in the olden days- used to transfer to their houses, poured wine over it and then, set it on fire on Christmas night. When this tradition gradually started wearing off, the actual tree trunk was replaced by this dessert. So, it is practically a log made of sponge cake and chocolate buttercream which, as years went by, has inspired several variations.     

> You will find my favorite version of the chocolate Christmas log here, while here, I have another version for you -a wonderful Christmas log with forest fruit.

Akis’ fried chicken by the Greek chef Akis Petretzikis

Fried chicken from Japan

The Japanese may invent countless things, but as for the Christmas feast, they obviously didn’t have much creativity. So, when they saw the festive offer of a well-known restaurant chain half a century ago, they loved the fried chicken that it included and created a brand-new tradition which, nowadays, has been adopted by millions of families in Japan. According to it, fried chicken is an indispensable part of the festive menu! 

> Here, you will find my own Fried chicken which -I promise you- does not look like anything youve ever tried. I bet that youll want to make it again and again!  

I can’t wait to see your Christmas creations! Choose your favorite recipes, prepare them with lots of love and…before sharing them with your loved ones, take a picture and send them to me, too!

Happy festive cooking!

Akis

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