Posted in Kafevend Blog

1.In which country will you find speculaas biscuits?

B-The Netherlands- Speculaas biscuits combine a glut of spices with a crunchy texture and often an impressive design moulded across the top. They are a typical treat made in December to coincide with the Dutch celebration of Sinterklaas, their equivalent of Christmas. Unlike Christmas, it is held right near the beginning of December, meaning less nagging from the children throughout the rest of the month!

2.When was the first Terry's chocolate orange made?

C-1931- Serving as a slightly sweeter treat than the traditional satsuma in your stocking, the Terry's chocolate orange was interestingly preceded by the Terry's chocolate apple. At the outbreak of WW2, the factory was overturned to making propellor blades. Chocolate production started again after the end of the war, but the chocolate apple was dropped in favour of the chocolate orange in 1954 due to high cacao prices, which meant they couldn't go on making both.

3.Who might thump you on the head with a broomstick if you spot them?

A-La Befana- In Italy, gifts are given on 6th January, otherwise known as Epiphany. This was when the three wise men were said to have given their gifts to the baby Jesus. Before they got there however, they stopped to ask directions from a witch known as La Befana. She is the traditional bringer of gifts in Italy, and children are told that she will hit them with her broomstick if she catches them spying on her!

4.What don't you find in mince pies?

D-Mince- These days, mince pies are a great treat around Christmas time, which contain no trace of their namesake. They did once however, and can trace their origin back to the Crusades. Returning crusaders brought with them exotic new ingredients and cooking methods. Combining meats and sweeter items like fruit was common in the lands they had been in, but must have seemed somewhat alien back in Europe, though we soon got a taste for this style of cooking.

5.Which spirit do you find in advocaat?

B-Brandy- Along with eggs and sugar, advocaat makes for a pretty strong custard! This traditional Dutch liqueur is a favourite around Christmas time, often either as the aforementioned custard for your Christmas pudding or mixed with lemonade and lime juice to make a snowball more suited to drinking than throwing. The advocaat sold in the Netherlands is much thicker than the stuff they export- advocaat fans might want to take a trip across the channel for a try.

6.What order might a sailor be grateful for?

C-Splice the mainbrace- Though this order was originally quite a tough one- especially if an enemy ship was firing at you- it has come to mean giving an extra tot of rum to sailors, at times of celebration such as Christmas, for example. The Queen is one of the few people allowed to give the order, so the Royal Navy must rather look forward to a regal visit!

7.Where don't you get snow?

A-Christmas Island- Despite the name, Christmas Island's location 350 km south of Indonesia just below the equator means that snow isn't a big feature! The name was given by Captain William Mynors on Christmas day in 1643, as his British East India Company ship, the Royal Mary, sailed past.

8.Where do turkeys come from?

B-North America- Whilst the name might have led you towards choice A, turkeys are in fact native to the forests of North America. As well as the traditional turkey another species exists in the Yucatan Peninsula called the ocellated turkey, and is rather iridescent and colourful, and a little less jowly, than its northern cousin.

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