Good Food Blog
It's Christmas!!Posted at 1:00PM, 22 July 2010 by Sarah Sysum - Assistant editor, Easy Cook magazine
In my world Christmas comes but twice a year; there's official Christmas and then there's Christmas in July.
Instead of dusting off the barbecue, I'm dusting off my reindeer antlers
Magazines work a good five months in advance, which means instead of dusting off the barbecue, I'm dusting off my reindeer antlers in preparation for visiting over 40 Christmas press shows.
Now I love Christmas - I've already made my cards, decided on the sweets I'm making, started on my menu spreadsheets, and, yes, I genuinely love turkey. But imagine having to taste 12 different turkeys in a day, not to mention the puds and cakes...
This is the world of 'Christmas in July', when most high street stores lay on shows to showcase their new seasonal ranges. It is of course all done with a hefty sprinkling of fake snow and more than a large dollop of festive tunes (although this year the Glee soundtrack is reigning supreme). So far I've been transported down a Victorian shopping parade and listened to carollers in Westminster.
I've also tasted my way around rather a lot of food. My day of shows (there'll be around five or six a day) starts at 9am and finishes around 4. At the last count, today I'd tasted eight different turkeys, six mince pies, various slices of smoked salmon and rather a lot of canapés and we haven't even got on to the slices of cake... Lots of it yummy - delicious chocolate fruit cake and melt-in-the-mouth cheese biscuits. But also some Santa won't be bringing me; mango-flavoured Stilton and chocolate-stuffed olives.
But it's definitely been worth it. I've talked to lots of inspiring producers and buyers and seen some real innovation. My favourites? Well you'll just have to wait to December to find out.