The shops in Seoul have their Christmas decorations up and are making the most of the festive season. Kyobo bookstore (above) has a big range of Christmas cards from traditional and simple to intricate pop up cards to get us in the mood. And the bakeries are full of festive cakes too.
When I think of Christmas cake in Britain, I think of a very heavy, rich, moist, fruitcake soaked in rum and studded with dried fruit. To make it even more calorific it will probably have a layer of marzipan on top and then a layer of icing on top of that with Merry Christmas written across it in a Christmassy coloured icing like green or red. It’s very filling and anyone attempting to eat Christmas cake is advised to wear trousers with an elasticated waist. Perhaps that’s why it’s only really eaten once a year 😉
The local bakeries are full of Christmas cakes here, too. But the only difference between Christmas cake and rest-of-the-year cake is the decoration on top. Christmas cake is decorated with Santas and reindeers etc. – likes these ones from the popular bakery chain Paris Baguette. This winter other popular cake decorations have been inspired by film characters – they include a winter-themed cake from the film Frozen, the children’s character Pororo, and of course there’s a Star Wars cake too!
The cakes may look like regular sponge cakes but they can be deceiving. The yellow one above, for example, looks like it could be covered in coconut. Actually it’s made with sweet potato! And once I bought a cake covered with cream and cherries. It was only when I got home and took a closer look that I discovered that they weren’t cherries on top but baby tomatoes. But what is life without surprises?
So whatever you eat this Christmas, I hope you enjoy the festive season. And all the best for 2016