With exactly 2 months until Christmas, people will soon begin to get ready for the festive season. In the West, people start putting up their decorations well in advance and even hold pre-Christmas parties just to usher in the spirit of Christmas. Closer to the date, all sorts of traditions are brought to the fore like Christmas caroling, decorating their homes with ornaments dedicated to the festival. One major tradition that we see in Goa is that of preparing the cake mix for the traditional Christmas fruitcake.
Where did the tradition of cake mixing come from?
Stories say that this tradition may have originated in 17th century Europe. Others say that it came about after World War 2. Either way, it’s clear that it has been around for centuries and will continue to be a major part of heralding the Christmas season. The cake mixing ceremony is also believed to mark the arrival of the harvest season.
Cake mixing in Goa
This mixing ceremony is a big deal in Goa. In the old days, when families were big and enjoyed the simple pleasures of the Christmas season, everyone from the home would gather together to prepare the traditional Christmas plum cake mix. It was as dear to them as decorating the house and the Christmas tree are. Today, cake mixing ceremonies are usually held by 5-star hotels wherein hotel guests, as well as people from the hospitality industry, are invited to be a part of the festivities.
It’s a fun and interesting activity for all involved. Christmas cake is special. It contains a vast mix of dried fruits like raisins, black currants, prunes, glazed dates, cherries, candied orange, lemon rinds and nuts like cashews, pistachios, and almonds. Into this mixture goes different kinds of liquor such as wine, brandy, rum, whiskey, and even honey. The fruits are left to marinate in this concoction of liquor for days, and in some cases, even for up to a year, stored in airtight containers. By December, everyone from the hospitality and food and beverage industries, guests from the hotels and even family and friends are invited to partake in the mixing of the cake batter. After that, the batter is whisked off to become a series of smaller cakes to be served all through the Christmas season at the hotel.
Cake mixing is actually done all over the world. In Goa, it now only exists as an activity for hotel guests. Most recently, the Novotel Goa Resort & Spa held their cake mixing ceremony. They will begin to prepare the special Christmas fruitcake by the beginning of December.