The delicious. Christmas quiz
The turkey has been devoured, the mince pies munched and the port uncorked. That can only mean one thing: it’s quiz time. See how well your brain is working in our after Christmas food and drink dinner quiz.
See our NEW food and drink quiz from the December 2019 issue, too.
First, the questions
Appoint a master of ceremonies to keep the score (and the peace), sort out a suitable prize for the winner, then test your mettle with these questions from food writer William Leigh.
1. In the Middle Ages, people ate boar’s or pig’s head smothered in mustard on Christmas Day. Which British city is famously associated with this hot condiment?
2. Despite attempts to revive its popularity as a retro food, corned beef has fallen out of favour. What does ‘corned’ mean?
3. Who served up figgy pudding in Dickens’ A Christmas Carol?
4. The almond is neither a nut nor a legume, botanically speaking. What is it?
5. Which is the odd one out: mint, rosemary or tarragon, and why?
6. Which Christmas dish developed from ‘frumenty’, a thick porridge of cereal, dried fruit and spices?
7. In Hungary, turkey does not feature on the Christmas menu. Which creature usually does?
8. A horse’s neck is not a cut of the four-legged beast, but a drink. What are its two main constituents?
9. Traditionally, mincemeat should only be stirred in one direction. Which is it and why?
10. What should you eat one of for each of the 12 days of Christmas if you want good luck?
11. Turkeys in Victorian England were walked to market from Norfolk to London. What were they said to be wearing for the journey?
12. What is the name of the German yeast cake often served at Christmas?
13. The Spanish see in the New Year by swallowing what on each of the 12 chimes at midnight?
14. Beeswing is the term for the crackled translucent crust that forms on old bottles of which popular Christmas tipple?
15. What traditional food do the Portuguese eat with boiled vegetables on Christmas Eve?
16. Which 17th-century spoilsport made mince pies illegal?
17. The name of which spice comes from the Latin word for nail?
18. Chocolate contains cocoa solids and cocoa butter. What are they collectively known as before they are separated?
19. In the UK, what is a baron of beef?
20. Dates, clams, sweet potatoes and bananas: which have the most potassium per 100g?
21. Which country is the largest producer of olive oil?
22. If you’re lucky you’ll have some chocolate in your stocking but, to within 10 years, when did the first ‘chocolate house’ open in England?
23. Most wines and many beers are not suitable for vegetarians. Why not?
24. What is the powerful Scandinavian spirit made from potatoes or grain?
25. What indispensable item for the Christmas table did Tom Smith, a confectioner, invent in 1846?
26. How have cherries been cooked if they are served ‘jubilee’ ?
27. What famous fiery sauce is made on Avery Island in Louisiana, US?
28. What type of flower does the vanilla pod come from?
29. Dublin is home to arguably the most famous stout of all – Guinness. But which two stouts come from Cork? (1 point for each)
30. In the US, what are prairie oysters a far more appealing name for?
And now the answers…
3. Mrs Cratchit
4. A drupe
5. Tarragon. It’s a member of the Asteraceae family, but mint and rosemary are part of the Lamiaceae family
6. Christmas pudding
8. Brandy and ginger ale
9. Clockwise. Stirring counter- clockwise is said to bring bad luck
10. Mince pies
11. ‘Boots’. These were created by walking the turkeys through warm tar followed by sand. This helped prevent their feet from becoming blistered on the journey
13. A grape
15. Salt cod or bacalhau
16. Oliver Cromwell
17. Cloves – the Latin word is clavus
18. Cocoa mass
19. A joint consisting of two sirloins joined at the backbone
23. Isinglass, a product made from the swim bladders of fish, is used to clarify, or fine, these drinks. Egg white, casein, dried blood and gelatin may also be used as fining agents
24. Aquavit (or akvavit)
25. The Christmas cracker
29. Beamish and Murphy’
30. Bull calf testicles