Imagining the seasonal flavours of the holidays what comes foremost to mind are cinnamon, ginger, pumpkin and eggnog, just to name a few.
With these flavours as inspiration and some of the traditional dishes that might grace a holiday table, it can be fun to re-think them into new and delicious alternatives that will keep everyone looking forward to the holiday goodies (think Starbucks seasonal menus!).
“The holidays are special and the flavours and the food during that time are special and everyone looks forward to it and waits for that time of year,” says Simple Bermuda owner Toney Edmonds, who loves to provide his customers with a new twist on holiday classics in the autumn and winter months – his most recent sellout: pumpkin cheesecake.
“There’s nothing wrong with your traditional pumpkin pie,” he says, “but you’re taking all those spices and flavours that go in the pie and putting it into the cheesecake or imagining that recipe into something else.”
Simple’s other wildly popular treats include their scones, both sweet and savoury, with the flavours of the season taking centre stage including eggnog and pumpkin and ginger.
“We really like to add little quirky things to the menu,” he says “A lot of people love chocolate chips but this time of year we’ll add cinnamon chips instead to our treats. Cinnamon chips and apples added into a cookie and it tastes like apple pie.”
Every year he also loves to experiment with favourite flavours to recreate recipes customized to match his tastes.
“This time of year I always want to find something to bake that I can perfect each year. Not everyone is a fan of the traditional fruit cake but by taking that concept I’m working on a walnut and dark rum cake and creating a new take on this cake.”
He adds that even popular dishes that not everyone might fancy can be made with a twist into something you like with the same flavour and concepts. Twists are not just limited to sweet dishes, either, he suggests.
“Depending on how daring you are, it’s worth experimenting with creating something to really wow your guests,” he says. One year he created a turducken for the centrepiece of his Christmas meal.
While not everyone has the skills or desire to butcher and bone a turkey, duck and chicken then stuff it all back together, Miles Market butchery manager Russell Sedgewick says they do get requests for the elaborate meat dish and can help with creating this masterpiece for customers.
However, he suggests asking the butcher for a boneless whole turkey or bone in breast of turkey that can be stuffed with your favourite stuffing recipe or stuffed at the grocers.
“We are seeing a lot more smaller gatherings with just close families and this is smaller option,” he says.
It also ensures a delicious and moist final product.
With different dietary needs throughout many families there are also ways to reinvent holiday dishes so that everyone feels like they can enjoy the meal.
“Many people think that using different ingredients to make something vegan or gluten free will mean it won’t taste like anything, but it’s actually the opposite,” says Mr Edmonds.
He suggests a vegetarian or nut loaf spiced with holiday flavours that can be a fantastic way to include everyone in holiday traditions.