Some of you may remember, way back when in the summer, that I spent some time working at BBC Good Food Magazine, and was lucky enough to attend the press events. The Christmas press events. The purpose of these events is basically for companies and brands to try and muscle their way into all of the big magazines, and be recommended to all of you lot. And it also means quite a bit of tasting food and freebies- which is always a lovely perk.
Anyway, when I was walking around with the lady I was shadowing (Holly, if you’re reading this then thank you for putting up with me for that week, and ringing me when I got lost inside Somerset House), it quickly became apparent that there were going to be some things this Christmas that were more popular than others. And so, with Christmas just a handful of days away, these are the biggest trends of Christmas 2015- you may have spotted products like this in shops by now, or even have some stashed under the tree ready for the big day…
BIGGEST TRENDS OF CHRISTMAS 2015
1. Retro biscuit cutters, food shaped home-ware, and retro food full stop…
Think reindeer shaped gingerbread, or Santa shaped shortbread, or Angel Delight (god forbid)
2. Fermented foods
Sauerkraut, Kombucha tea- all that promotes gut health is on the menu. Just in time to help aid recovery from the food poisoning your family’s Christmas dinner will probably give you.
3. Food that looks like one thing, but are actually another
Chocolates looking like biscuits (or Brussels sprouts), cushions shaped like biscuits- lets just hope that no deceptive Brussels sprouts disguise themselves as truffles. Although I would love to see the expression on family members faces when they took a bite of those.
4. New Christmas table ware, offering more variety, luxury place-settings and utensils
One supermarket had designed several different variations of Christmas tableware, from “I’m incredibly stylish in my swanky London penthouse”, to “For god’s sake, just buy something that wipes clean George!”
5. Gluten free
Yes, this trend has made its way into the Christmas market as well. All coeliacs, this is excellent news for you. Gluten free pigs in blankets, and desserts you can actually eat all Christmas long. I’m happy for you- but this is where I become a bit divided: those who have a kind of gluten induced hypochondria (i.e. haven’t been diagnosed by a medical professional as having anything the bloody matter with them), it means you can wind your family up even more at this festive time of year, with demands that your pigs in blankets cost three times more than everyone elses.
6. Less loved/used ingredients: think vegetables, dark chocolate, and venison.
I was pretty excited to hear of this one. I was always the child who actually loved my vegetables, and have been stealing my dad’s dark chocolate since the age of about seven. Unfortunately, this now means the ingredients I like will probably be in short supply on the Christmas Eve dash.
7. New takes on traditional Christmas desserts and joints of meat. In particular Christmas pudding.
Think five bird roasts, and salted caramel-pecan pudding in place of the usual Christmas pud. Another weird and wonderful take on a Christmas classic I saw was unusually flavoured cheeses. We’re talking Tipsy Mince Pie, Chocolate Fudge Brownie, Lime and Chilli, and then a slightly more conservative Orange and Cranberry wheel of the creamy stuff this Christmas.
8. New varieties of ingredients (carrots, kale)
I saw carrots that apparently have a sweeter taste, and were bred to be ridiculously straight. I could have used one as a ruler. To measure my patience wearing thinner and thinner over Christmas day.
9. Designer drinks (gin, whisky, jam jar cocktails)
Why make your friends a drink when you can shove a jar of pre-mixed cocktail into their stocking? Saves time, effort, and gives you more of a chance to get yourself drunk in order to cope with being around said friends.