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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A slice of Christmas



 This is our bûche de Noel, our lovely Christmas Eve dessert. No, not fait maison, I hasten to add but lovingly prepared our neighbor’s son who just happens to be a pâtisserier.

Bûche de Noel translates literally as ‘Christmas log’ the traditional Christmas cake rolled up to look like a log. For many it’s the must – have, that which lights up the Christmas table. Preparing these cakes is serious business everywhere in France with pâtisseries outdoing each other with variations.

I personally find them a little too rich and can only manage a tiny, really tiny slice.

The origin? The history, just as rich as the cake is based on the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year.  Long long ago the Celts would locate and haul back to the house an enormous tree trunk and burn it in the fireplace. The log which was supposed to last the whole evening celebrated the end of winter – the days would be longer now, more sun, and more light a time to give praise.

Then Christianity came along but the practice still continued using smaller logs dressed up with ribbons and greenery.

Bûches de Noel represents this Yule log once burnt in the fireplaces.
Special Christmas Greetings to all.

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