Christmas Feasts You’ll Want to Skip

December 22, 2022

Content warning. There’s some gross food pictures here, including animal heads. Just saying…

Let’s just admit it. Holiday food and treats are a big part of what makes Christmas so fun. Yes, I know we just had Thanksgiving but nothing beats the sugar rush of Christmas.

Then, there’s the Christmas feast! It can be another awkward dinner with family where the food may or may not be edible. But it could always be worse.

While no one is particularly happy to see Aunt Jane’s “famous” cranberry brussell sprouts on the menu, I’ll take that any day if the other choices are being invited to dinner in Greenland or South Africa.

Let’s take a peek at the menu in Greenland, shall we?

This feast takes months to prepare just right. Come the day, you’ll find your table laden with mattak and kiviak

Mattak is a traditional Inuit delicacy. Who could ever get enough of raw whale skin and blubber? Yes, you read that right. In case you’re curious, it tastes oily and rubbery, and slightly nutty. Some households have modernized things a bit and might offer this delicacy pickled or deep-fried. Does that help?

Along with your whale blubber, you’ll also be offered kiviak. I guess you could say kiviak is the Inuit version of turduckin. You pull out all the guts from a seal, then stuff the carcass full of little birds called auk.

Then, bury it in your yard for a few months until it’s nicely decomposed and fermented. Perfection!

The flavor is said to be close to an aged cheese or licorice

How’s your appetite? If you’re still hungry let’s jet over to South Africa for a feast of fried caterpillars. Every Christmas in South Africa thousands of Pine Tree Emperor Moth caterpillars, or Christmas caterpillars, are harvested and fried up for your holiday table. Munching down on these little cuties is supposed to bring you good luck in the new year. I’m told they are an excellent source of protein and the dried version tastes like salty potato chips. 

Appropriately named, the Christmas caterpillar is green and red. They apparently act like our well-known friend tofu. It’s all in the preparation. Do it right and a good caterpillar can taste like anything you want it to.

If you’re a picky eater and just can’t imagine noshing on blubber or caterpillars, I’m sorry, but the only other options I have for you is smoked sheep brain in Norway

Or pig’s head in England.

Honestly, I’d just stay home and sincerely thank Aunt Jane for the brussel sprouts.

Fracture by Mercedes M. Yardley - Mother: Tales of Love and Terror

Fracture, by Mercedes M. Yardley

Read the full story that is on the Bram Stoker Awards® Preliminary Ballot right here!

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Mother: Tales of Love and Terror has been included on the preliminary ballot for the 2022 Bram Stoker Awards® for Superior Achievement in an Anthology. If you are a voting member of the HWA, we would love to have you consider our anthology, as well as Mercedes M. Yardley’s story, “Fracture,” which is also on the ballot in the Short Fiction category. 

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