Anything but a “Crumby” Holiday Season


Olivia D. Watson, Journalist

As the holidays creep nearer, and the Black Friday emails keep coming, everyone is starting to crave those traditional festive foods. But to be frank, does anyone know where and when those foods came from? Why does fruitcake always come up when Christmas is mentioned? What does gingerbread have to do with winter? Who came up with the recipe for cinnamon rolls and why are they so good?!

An aesthetically pleasing photo of ginger cookies (Photo Courtesy Of: Google Images)

There are sooo many stories out there as to why fruitcake is a classical Christmas confection, but many seem to reference how it dates back to the ancient Romans, who would mash up barley, pomegranate seeds, nuts, and fruits into a pseudo energy bar of sorts. Somehow, later down the line in the middle ages, having access to fruitcake was a sign of wealth because the ingredients were much harder to find in the winter. But why continue this tradition when only around 11% of the population actually like it? Probably because it’s convenient, and nowadays, decently affordable.

Senior, Melanie Rodriguez shared her holiday tradition when asked what traditions she participates in during the holidays.

“We don’t eat a fruit cake we get cake with [like] little babies in it called rosca de reyes and we get it around the first couple days of the new year. [And] who finds a baby in the cake have to make a party it’s super fun.”

A picture of rosca de reyes (Photo Courtesy Of: Google Images)

Winter is also the time where we start seeing gingerbread desserts arising from the dust of last year’s holiday season, especially the coveted gingerbread men cookies and gingerbread houses. However, believe it or not, gingerbread cookies were not always a treat available for everyone. Gingerbread cookies used to be 16th century gifts for nobility from none other than Queen Elizabeth I.

Queen Elizabeth I was often lavished in gifts, and the gifts that she did end up giving people were often just regifted things she wasn’t interested in, but gingerbread cookies were her specialty. She would bake and decorate gingerbread cookies to look like her suitors and serve them at parties, and soon it would turn into a tradition for English women to eat ‘gingerbread husbands’ to ensure that they would get married.

Young Victorian era women weren’t the only ones to do special things with their gingerbread men, though. When asked about any ‘traditions’ with her gingerbread men, senior Kaliyah Norwood said, “What I do with gingerbread is I make sure I always put marshmallow fluff on them, build the house, then smash it to release anger.”