"In France during January, people buy (or more rarely, make) 'galettes des rois.' These are cakes in which are hidden a 'fève,' literally a bean but now usually a small ceramic or plastic figure. The one who gets it is king or queen for the day in the manner of the Magi, with the honor of wearing the gilt paper crown packaged with the cake. When we lived in France for a year with small daughters we would buy one every other day, all month long!"
- Sarah-Grace Heller, associate professor in the Department of French and Italian
"Known in English as 'potato pancakes,' latkes are the quintessential Chanukah dish of Ashkenazi Jews, fried in lots of oil to celebrate the miracle of lights. This recipe comes from my father, Alan, who learned it from my maternal grandmother, Fay."
- Harry Kashdan, postdoctoral researcher in the Department of French and Italian
"Every Christmas Eve, my parents and I (and our cats, if they're in cooperative moods) sit by the Christmas tree and read The Night Before Christmas. Our copy is illustrated with a set of beautiful drawings, and I look forward to seeing them each year!"
- Helen McHenry, international studies student
Holiday foods hold sentimental value for many people, connecting us with our parents, grandparents and deeper heritage and family history. This year, those connections are explored in three conversations with Arts and Sciences faculty.
- Harry Kashdan, postdoctoral researcher in the Department of French and Italian, explores the importance of food culture among diaspora communities.
- Department of Spanish and Portuguese's Elena Foulis shares why continuing food traditions as an immigrant is important for connecting with her culture and identity.
- And Andi Wolfe, professor in the Department of Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology, explains how desire for many of the spices that help define today's holiday dishes have shaped major events is human history.
"Every year for as long as I can remember, my family has gotten matching Christmas Pajamas. My parents let us unwrap them Christmas Eve and we all go out them on and get a picture then go to bed. When we wake up Christmas morning and unwrap gifts we are all in our matching pajamas."
- Rebecca Terrill, biology student
"My wife and I get a new ornament every year since 1998, the year we were married."
- Jonathan Baker, associate professor of statistics
"On Christmas Eve Eve (Dec. 23), several families on my block would exchange plates of cookies and other baked goods, delivered by the children. It was fun making cookies with my mom and brother on the 22nd and then delivering the plates of cookies to the neighbors on the 23rd."
- Amy Selby, psychology student