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The smells of Christmas - The Hindu

The smells of Christmas – The Hindu

There is the unmistakable aroma of heady rum and dry fruits that greeted visitors at Hotel Novotel. The annual cake-mixing ceremony was underway with local guests and those staying in the hotel enthusiastically participating in the ritual that heralds the spirit of Christmas.

All that’s in the cake

Around 106 kilograms of dry fruits which included almonds, sultanas, dates, pistachios, cashews, prune and raisins were mixed with nutmeg, cardamom and cinnamon along with splashes of vodka, wine, brandy, gin and rum. People stood by ready in their aprons and gloves to dive into the cake mix and give it a vigorous turn. “The liquor-soaked dry fruits will now be sealed and stored for a month. These will be then used in Christmas delicacies like puddings, cakes, panettone and mince pie,” said executive chef Mrinmoy Pal.

Bringing people together

Several hotels in the city are making an event out of the cake-mixing ritual.

“Festivals these days have gone beyond religious importance. They are now an occasion of joy and celebration for everyone. So every year the ceremony is attended by people from different backgrounds,” said Varun Dev, Director of Varun group.

Rahul Ganapati who has been attending the cake mixing ceremony in the hotel for the past five years says “ When I eat the desserts during Christmas there is this excitement that I contributed too towards their making,” he laughed.

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