by Anaïs Brisson, U.S. Operations Manager for Saison Rum
Christmas in France is every Francophile's dream. The food, the lights, the traditions – it's easy to understand why we call it the most wonderful time of the year. But we're going to let you in on a little secret: you can recreate these French Christmas traditions right at home. Here are our favorite French Christmas traditions to adopt, to be celebrated in your own home.
Any true Francophile knows that food and drink are a central part of French culture, and Christmas time is no exception. If you're looking to pull out all the stops for a French Christmas dinner, make sure you're doing it on the right day! The biggest meal of the holiday is usually eaten on Christmas Eve, known as le Réveillon, instead of on Christmas Day.
Set the table with your finest holiday china and invite your friends and family to partake in a fantastic meal. This French feast consists of many courses. Appetizers usually include foie gras, oysters, or escargots - all of which pair excellently with French champagne. For the main course, French gourmands serve a large bird, usually a capon or turkey stuffed with chestnuts, paired with a robust French wine.
The feast ends with dessert - bûche de Noël, or Yule log. Cake and buttercream frosted are rolled together and coated in chocolate to look like a log. Chocolates and nougat are, also, offered after the main course. While many people might pair cognac with the dessert course, we recommend pulling out a bottle of Saison Reserve rum to impress your guests.
Saison Reserve rum is distilled in Trinidad, Barbados and Jamaica, and aged for up to 8 years on the island of origin. The rum is then shipped to France, blended and seasoned for 12 months in ex-cognac casks - there is no sugar added to the rum, which allows the layers of barrel flavor to come to the forefront of the blended distillate. The flavors of Saison Reserve Rum are both fruity and spicy with notes of candied fruits, prunes, vanilla, ginger, and mixed peppercorns - the perfect pairing for your Christmas dessert.