Food & Drink We Love & Hate At Christmas

Procrastinating as usual, when faced with a long list of overdue chores, I merrily whiled away a few hours on twitter, as you do… and thought I’d find out which Christmas food and drinks my twitter friends’ most love and hate.

I did the same last year and really loved reading all the responses!

Many people got so carried away telling me about what they are most looking forward to that they clean forgot to let me know what they hope to avoid! Of course, it’s always nicer to focus on enjoyment, isn’t it?



Most frequently mentioned in the “love” column are mince pies. Most aren’t fussy about their provenance though some do insist on their mums’ home-made versions.

In second place are leftover turkey sandwiches. Some insist on sage and onion stuffing in there too. @talkie_tim is very specific with his recipe calling for turkey, fresh cos lettuce, home made mayo and Jarlsberg cheese on sesame bloomer.

Quite a few tie for third place:- sprouts, beef, chestnut stuffing, cranberry sauce, goose and smoked salmon (with or without scrambled eggs and preferably wild).

Honourable mentions also go to champagne, whisky and whiskey, pigs-in-blankets, mulled drinks (cider and wine are both listed), ham and bread sauce.

Some of the rarer responses include cappelletti in brodo, caviar, cheese, Christmas pudding (I thought it would be more popular), home-baked biscuits, honey mustard parsnips, @bribedwithfood‘s dad’s whiskey sours, pandoro, panettone, port, Pedro Ximinez sherry, Quality Street, real ale, spongata (I had to look it up too), stollen, wine and zimtsterne (yes, and that one).



At the top of the hate column is Christmas pudding.

Next are Christmas cake, sprouts and turkey. Well, you just can’t please everyone, can you?

Also listed are eggnog, fish, marzipan, mince pies, panforte, an excess of dried fruit in everything, thick icing on cakes and traditional Portuguese boiled salt cod.

More esoteric answers include @penjy‘s mum’s “70’s tastic trifle”, @LucMartin‘s “boxing day in laws obligations” and the annual fight over whether @fingersandtoes will eat the turkey (still no).


As for me?

Favourites include a huge roast dinner (roast beef or lamb please with lots of roast potatoes and parsnips, savoy cabbage and some decent gravy), Christmas pudding with brandy cream (brandy butter just won’t do), a truly magnificent cheese board, a good stash of decent chocolate, a box of top quality dates, pfeffernüsse biscuits, smoked salmon and prawn cocktail, a measure or two (or three) of Pedro Ximinex and lots of other loves I’ll think of just after I share this post!

You can keep your ghastly sprouts, Christmas cake (though I’ll have your marzipan thanks), turkey and endless leftovers. And your panettone as well!


What are your most loved and hated Christmas food and drinks?

Please leave a comment - I love hearing from you!
30 Comments to "Food & Drink We Love & Hate At Christmas"

  1. Choclette

    Top of the hates box made me laugh – urr – isn't that what Christmas food is about. Luckily, I love Christmas pudding, especially my mother's and also love sprouts. But being vegetarian, the Turkey, Goose or whatever else is traditionally served can go take a flying jump.

  2. Miss Whiplash

    You're more than welcome to eat my marzipan…
    I'm firmly in the hate camp for Christmas pudding, Christmas cake, mince pies etc (though I'm more than happy to make them for other people), I don't like ham or gravy and I've not historically been a massive fan of turkey, though we had a Kelly Bronze job last year, which was a bit of a revelation.

    That makes me sound like a right old misery.
    In fact, Christmas is my very very favourite time of year – and I positively require all of the above to be present – I just would rather serve than eat them…
    And I LOVE sprouts and trifle 🙂

  3. Dom at Belleau Kitchen

    I could skip the lunch and go straight for leftovers… although how one actually achieves that I don't know… my ultimate is left-over turkey and stuffing sandwiches with home made coleslaw… divine!

  4. Kelly Sibson

    My three favorites are cranberry bread, my mom's ginger cookies and Russian tea cakes (also cookies, despite being called “cakes”)

    The only traditional Christmas food I dislike is ham. I like everything elsefrom a pig, but I just can't stand ham.

  5. Penny Aylwin

    It has solid custard that you have to cut with a knife and actual dream topping. Vile stuff. Breaking news though, I have been given permission to make a lovely Nigella one this year with amaretto and yummy foodie goodness inside. NO DREAM TOPPING!

  6. Foodycat

    LOVE Christmas pudding, mince pies, the fact that you can buy cream laced with brandy and cointreau, thick slices of ham cut from the bone, twinkly fairy lights on dark nights, all the fancy schmance canapes that the supermarkets bring out (Waitrose mini game pies please!).

    DON'T LOVE the annual kerfuffle over the office Christmas do (we ALWAYS have a 3 course lunch with a turkey option, so why even have the conversation?); the notion that it has to be a turkey lunch with “all the trimmings” to be Christmas; the faux religious observance; the gross commercialism; the cheap tat designed to end up on landfill before Epiphany.

    Fortunately my least favourite part of Christmas – my grandmother's vegetarian stirfry – has gone with her to the grave.

  7. liloo

    Yay, this is so much better now that this is a blog poll. The Food and drink I am really not looking forward to as Christmas are anything involving eggnog, well for the simple reason, they smell of raw eggs yuk. I am not fan of those cakes with lots of sugary icing on it. Not that I care about calories for xmas, but the icing is generally too sweet. I am not a fan of sprouts either. How the heck did this become emblematic of Christmas.
    What I love and looking forward to: mince pies, definitely by a mile. That and the 'festive bake' pasties from Greggs, the panettones in their very Christmassy boxes. I love the special packs of ready make food they make at sainsbury's and marks and spencers for the occasion (i am rubbish at cooking, so i buy that) with sausages rolled with bacon, the festive packs of smoked salmon. In fact, for me, Christmas has always been about Food. Now it's more about fancy dress and going out around it really. But before coming to England, and when I was living with a family it was about food, and gathering about food, about indulding in fine food you wouldn't usually indulge into cos it's too expensive. In reunion, it was about lychees and paté créole (chunk of best pork cuts baked in crumbly pate sable. YUM. Right, this survey is making me hungry. Not good. Xx


  8. Mamta

    I love Christmas food and cooking of it, but no one around here likes the cake or pudding, so don't very often bother making it. I just love mince pies and eat as many as my blood sugar level will allow!
    I hate the rush in the shops prior to Christmas. Shopping for even normal, non-Christmasy things becomes a nightmare!
    Now that the girls are gone, even putting up decoration has become a chore! And Chritmas cards… that too is getting harder with each passing year. There are just too many to write!

  9. Le Creuset Fiend

    I absolutely adore:

    Sprouts, bread sauce, roast tatties, roast parsnips, crispy bacon from the top of the turkey, and Boxing Day leftover sandwiches with turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and (by now really thick) bread sauce!

    I can't stand:

    Mince pies, christmas cake, christmas pudding, marzipan, icing, brandy butter, juggling far too many pans at once for a domestic kitchen, and the washing up!

  10. Winton

    I actually quite like Christmas pudding, just not at Christmas with all the other rich food around. Afraid turkey is a complete no-no, if it tasted so good why don't we eat it all year round? Give me a good free range chicken any day.

    As for the office 'christmas meal' no one can decide where to go.In my last job one woman was veggie, another wouldn't eat chinese, one anything remotely spicy, no pork…. Another was afraid of water (so no floating restaurants,) someone else couldn't eat seafood, and I wouldn't eat turkey. And that's in a group of about eight of us!

    In desperation I always finally suggested Vietnamese which is where we always ended up after weeks of circular debate.

  11. Craftilicious

    I love marzipan-crumble-topped mince pies, served with cointreu cream. I am a turkey fan, but we have a small gathering so no full dry old bird, but one nice juicy breast, butterflied, and stuffed with our favourite sausages (de-cased) and apricots, then wrapped in a couple of pounds of bacon. Big, fat, juicy and delicious and plenty of leftovers which is my other big love on boxing day, with Mum's proper chips and sweet pickled beetroot so the chips go pink! Through in a proper triffle with decent custard and proper cream and a few cocktails (Nigella's pointsettia is a personal fave) and I'm a happy lady.

    I hate the food hotels and restaurants dish up for office christmas parties – it is always boring, dull and tasteless. I know its mass catering, but I also know you can do better….

    Oh, and you can keep the sprouts thanks.

  12. Anonymous

    Love a the big roast dinner preferably goose but others will do with Turkey as last on my list – but not a hate.
    Also love fryup made with the left overs, and cold turkey with chips and pickles. Love Christmas Pudding and Chritmas cake with marzipan not icing and love it with Wensleydale cheese.
    Love a good ham cooked on Christmas Eve served with sweetcorn sauce and picked at all week with spiced pears, and lots of chutneys.

    My hate list is bread sauce and champagne. Also hate relly hat eht stuff that restuarants and hotels pass off as a christmas dinner and they insist on serving at this time of year to groups of people wanting a nice meal and evening out.

  13. LexEat!

    Can't believe Christmas pudding is most hated! I detest Turkey and have happily made the switch to goose!
    Have never really understood the Brit's obsession with having Brussels sprouts – surely just a vehicle for chestnuts, butter & pancetta?

  14. Anonymous

    Loathe brandy butter, Paxo stuffing, the way that you can't just have a turkey dinner on the 25th, you are expected to eat it at every pre-Christmas get together (WHY – if I go to a restaurant I want something they cook better than I do), eggnog, eating the main meal at 3 in the afternoon.

    Love sprouts, chestnuts, Christmas pud, port & stilton, walnuts, leftovers, clementines, Izmir figs, home made stuffing, cranberry sauce, gammon, bizarre things like cold stuffing & smoked salmon for breakfast.

  15. Thea

    Love most things about Xmas particularly (weirdly) the Pret Xmas sandwich.

    Dislike brandy butter but it's OK because my dad now makes yummy brandy icecream.

  16. BribedwithFood

    I clearly don't read tweets properly and failed to notice the request for “dislikes”, so here are mine:

    – Christmas cake (which mother insists on making every year even though she's the only one who eats it)
    – Panettone with candied orange peel; I can just about eat the one that has just sultanas if smothered in zabaione, but just about.

    And… mmmmm… Christmas Day hangovers?

  17. Keith

    You don't like panettone?! Oh my goodness! Actually, panettone a-la-mode, couldn't care for it. However Lolli does something pretty special with it that is just a-m-a-z-i-g!!!!!

    My likes: bacalhau com natas (Portuguese have it on Xmas eve), eating rissois whilst sipping champers and opening on Xmas day and yes, the big turkey show with everything. Although, the turkey has to be cooked perfectly.

    My hates: Christmas cake *eurgh*, my 3rd batch off eggnog always turns into scrambled egg (probably not the best idea to have my at the stove by that point anyway)

  18. youfatfoodie

    My first wife was half Italian and she started my Christmas morning tradition of a glass of asti spumante with pannatone to dunk in it.

    I think it is my favourite food/drink of the day.

    I can't think of any Christmas food I dislike. Maybe that explains my size.

  19. happyfox

    Top of my list is Christmas pud, preferably topped with custard, double cream and brandy butter. Love marzipan and stollen. We have turkey breast wrapped in stuffing, 'cos the stuffing's the best bit. Best Christmas breakfast has to be chocolate and champagne.

    Can't abide sprouts in any form and not over keen on cranberries, but apart from that, it's making me hungry just thinking about all those delicious things.

  20. Joanna

    Hates Bread sauce, closely followed by overcooked brussel sprouts, but I like them when they are small and stir fried..and from childhood, the Danish rice pudding with the almond in, which they made you eat before the roast dinner. If you found the almond, you got a marzipan pig, but really..why make you eat rice pudding before a roast dinner, why why why?
    Love the gravy, the roast potatoes, the ends of the roast beef, the goose, the vegetables, I'll eat the mince pies and pudding and all that but would rather have it the next day, week or month.

  21. Michelle @ Greedy Gourmet

    Ick, I'm a party pooper when it comes to Christmas food. Turkey is too dry, mince pies and xmas pudding are a no go.

    However, when we get to natural ingredients, e.g. chestnuts and sprouts, I'm all ears!

  22. I heart cupcakes

    My favourite thing about Christmas food is lashings of skirlie (a Scottish oatmeal stuffing) with our roast dinner, including loads of sprouts (I ADORE sprouts) and onion sauce which is my favourite. I also love clootie dumpling. And anything boozy!
    I cannot stand Turkey as I seem to have an allergic reaction every time I eat it and I'm not very fond of Christmas pudding. I can also take or leave mince pies!

  23. cwildman

    Mmmm my Loves & Hates for Christmas would include Loves for Sausage Meat Balls, always delicious, homebaked croissant or pain au chocolate on Xmas morning maybe with a little Champagne, hates Christmas cake, bought mince pies & soggy sprouts…

  24. Anonymous

    love mince pies, but I'm diabetic, thankfully also love turkey and all the trimmings, but usually have a small portion of bread sauce.

    Dislike all the rich stuff, pud, cake, brandy butter, just as well, really, Xmas is not a good time for a diabetic………..

  25. alicean

    I love christmas when someone else makes the dinner.
    I hate the mountain of washing up as I don't have a dishwasher

  26. Kathleen

    Hate: fruitcake, eggnog, mince pies, dried fruit in anything, and super-sweet sugar cookies with icing, punches made with sherbet floating in it (Ugh! reminds me of scum!)

    Loves: hot cider, hot lemonade, hot ginger-y ginger ale, Christmas roast beef with small potatoes cooked in the same pan, absorbing the beef fat, corn pudding, pumpkin pie, turkey, leftover turkey sandwiches, horseradish sauce for the roast beef, dressing, citrus salad made with pomegranate seeds, grapefruit sections and dressed sparingly with balsamic vinegar, molasses cookies.


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