Tag Archives: Christmas Traditions

13 Desserts of Christmas

The 13 Desserts of Christmas

The 13 Desserts

            In France there is a tradition of leaving 13 desserts out on the table between Christmas and New Year’s.  Though the dishes vary, the number stays the same (to represent Jesus and the Apostles).

What a wonderful way to entertain guests that happen to drop by to visit!  Select 13 small bowls and place them in the center of your dining table or on a sideboard.  Keep the bowls filled with items that can be left at room temperature to offer up as hospitality to your guests.

The Four Beggars

The Four Beggars is a selection of dried fruits and nuts traditionally served together are called les quatre mendiants (the four beggars), representing the mendicant monastic orders.

The ‘Four Beggars’ are:

raisins for the Dominicans
dried figs for the Franciscans
walnuts for the Augustines
almonds for the Carmelites

You can mix and match the contents of your bowls, even changing them up throughout the day if you have a small amount of one thing and want to replace it with something else.    The list below is of treats that traditionally show up in the bowls, but you can use your favorites!  Do people in your family really like gummy bears or M&Ms?  Use them!

  Dried Fruit and Nuts

Peppermint, dried fruits, nuts and other treats

Peppermint, dried fruits, nuts and other treats

cherries
cranberries
figs
fruit compote
raisins
almonds
hazelnuts
pecans
pistachios
walnuts
roasted chestnuts

Fresh Fruit and Nuts

apples
grapes
oranges
pears
pomegranate
tangerines

 Sweets

Peppermint candy canes

Peppermint candy canes

Christmas cookies
biscotti
caraway cookies
gingerbread
hard candy
marzipan
light nougat
dark nougat
quince paste