Good Food Blog
Christmas in JulyPosted at 12:02PM, 22 July 2008 by Sarah Sysum - Assistant editor, Easy Cook magazine
Imagine eating 20 Christmas puddings...in one day...in July... Let me explain. As the shopping coordinator here on Good Food Magazine it's my job to keep up to date with trends and test new products.
What you might not be aware of is that we work six months in advance, which means as you're basking in the summer sunshine (and rain) I'm journeying around London to attend Christmas press shows for all the leading supermarkets and high streets chains. When I say all I mean everyone. On average I'm attending 20 shows a week for four weeks (a normal month will see around ten shows in the entire month).
Press shows essentially are a showcase for all new products. For Christmas shows this can be anything from a table laden with party nibbles to a display of the latest Doctor Who gadgetry, and of course each company wants to out do their competitors. This year for example I've been subjected to an enchanted forest (indoors), a giant gingerbread house and a chocolate maze, all life size.
It's not just puddings I'm tasting. If it's got Christmas in the title you can bet I've eaten it over the last month.
And then there are those Christmas puddings, now most supermarkets produce at least ten different varieties. Although you're not expected to try them all you are expected to taste at least five, at each show. With at least four shows a day, well you can do the maths. Let's just say by 3.30 every day (after starting around 9am) I am well and truly pudding-ed out.
But it's not just puddings I'm tasting, if it's got Christmas in the title you can bet I've eaten it over the last month. The good; a beautiful dry aged beef, a wonderful moist Christmas cake. The bad; greasy sausage rolls, Thai green curry 'nibbles' (what defines a nibble? Discuss..) And the plain ugly; Christmas pudding cream cheese.
Now I'm no Scrooge I love Christmas. My spreadsheet of festive menus are planned and tweaked from October onwards. However there are two 'traditions' I loathe. Christmas songs - excluding Wham (come on 'Last Christmas' is a classic) and fake snow. Both of which are in abundance wherever you go in this unseasonal period. So far I've heard 'Frosty the Snowman' 23 times and had to crunch my way through 15 different variations of 'snow'.
But it's all been worth it in the end. I've seen some amazing produce and some seriously whizzy gifts. Am I going to tell you what they are? Of course...in December.