Now that it’s Christmas time, everyone is preparing for the birth of Jesus Christ in some way or the other. Family and friends are home for the holidays. Some are doing their bit by giving back to society and others are getting new clothes. People are preparing delicious Christmas food and drinks. And we cannot forget about the abundance of Christmas sweets that all our female family members are slaving over to make sure that it’s a yummy Christmas lunch.
Savory or Sweet at Christmas???
My family is a small one. Despite this little fact, at Christmas time, our dining table usually has enough food to serve a small army or even a large village. And the food, it’s just out of this world. There’s roast chicken, pulav with cashew nuts and raisins, roast pigling and even some roast beef among so many other delicacies. It’s almost enough to make your head spin and the button on your pants pop off without any help from you.
Back in the day, everyone pitched in to make sure the table was groaning under the weight of all that yumminess sitting on top of it. Christmas lunches weren’t just about family, they were about community. Sometimes, one family would host the entire neighbourhood for this meal. It didn’t matter if you were family, a good friend or even just a neighbour. Even friends of friends were invited to participate in this gathering.
Unfortunately, all this has slowly faded away with more people choosing not to have a traditional Christmas meal at home and instead go out to eat. The same goes for making sweets. Lots of people used to make sweets at home but now they just buy them from bakeries or other commercial establishments. The taste isn’t the same though.
What sweets will you be having this Christmas?
Sweets have long been a tradition at our wonderful festival. The mouthwatering smells in the kitchen are almost too much to bear and the anticipation of eating a Kulkul or some plum cake almost drives you insane. Even the preparation of all these sweets is an event by itself. We’re all guilty of loitering in the kitchen and getting in the way of the Christmas chefs. In turn, it usually earns us a whack on the backside from a kitchen towel.
There’s loud singing, not always in tune, there’s people ribbing and trolling one another and just a general happy feeling that spreads infectiously from one person to another.
So without further ado, we need to talk about those insanely delicious sweets that keep being mentioned. The sweets distributed during Christmas in Goa are known as Kuswar / Kuswad. There are a lot of classic Goan sweets which are made as Kuswar. We’ve got kulkuls, kormolas (have eaten these but had no idea what the name was), shankarpalis, plum cake, chocolate salami, neureos, marzipan sweets, bebinca, dodol, Goan snowballs, guava cheese or perad and the works. And I am not sure if you realise this but with every item mentioned, the mouth tends to water a little more each time.
So there you have it, folks. It’s time to start preparing for that humongous Christmas feast and make sure your stomach is content throughout the process! Bon appetit!