The 11 Best Holiday Foods In Literature — From Treacle Tarts To Snow Candy


You can talk about love and family and goodwill towards men all you like, but we all know that at the end of the day, the holidays are about one thing: food. OK, there might be a little more to it than that, but food is a huge part of how we celebrate while also insulating ourselves from the winter chill. It's no accident that every great book about the holidays includes at least one mouthwatering description of holiday treats. So, if you're thinking of throwing a literary soiree this December, or if you've just always wanted to try pickled limes, here are a few delicious holiday treats from your favorite books.

The ham or the turkey or the soy-based turkey substitute might steal the show at your holiday meal, but the snacks you eat on the side are just as important to creating that cozy, wintry vibe. And literature is full of holiday treats. From the Christmas feasts at Hogwarts to the nut-based snack food of the Redwall mice, your favorite books are a great place to go for holiday menu inspiration. These recipes will be sure to wow both readers and non-readers alike, so check out some delectable holiday foods from literature:

Treacle Tart from 'Harry Potter'

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The Wizarding World is full of scrumptious treats, from pumpkin pasties to cauldron cakes to cockroach clusters. But Harry's favorite dish, for the holidays and all other times of the year, is Hogwarts' treacle tart. Lucky for you, even Muggles can make this one at home: here's a traditional treacle tart recipe inspired by everyone's favorite boy wizard, and here's a mini-treacle tart variation, if you want some tiny treacle treats for your Yule Ball this year.

Snow Candy from 'Little House on the Prairie'

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Christmas always seemed so magical in Little House on the Prairie, even though the family lived in the middle of nowhere and ate snow. You don't have to live on the prairie to make your own snow candy with this recipe, though (and yes, you can substitute shaved ice for snow if you live in warmer climes).

Turkish Delight from 'The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe'

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The White Witch of Narnia tempts little Edmund with boxes of Turkish Delight, which is a jelly-like candy from (you guessed it) Turkey. Sure, the White Witch turns out to be a little bit evil, but that doesn't make Turkish Delight any less tasty. You can make this holiday treat at home with just a little sugar, gelatin, and rose water.

Triple Gingerbread from 'Mary Poppins'

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Normal gingerbread is all well and good. But Mary Poppins' gingerbread sparkles. It glows. It's full of stars. The full effect of Mary's gingerbread is a tad hard to recreate in real life, but this recipe will get you pretty darn close: dark gingerbread that's been dusted with shimmering gold.

Pickled Limes from 'Little Women'

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Little Women is another quintessential holiday book. And the most sought after treat in Little Women is pickled limes, hands down. That... might not sound like a traditional holiday snack, but back in the day these sour limes were a staple of kids' sweets. Get started making these limes now, because they need to chill for a month before their ready to eat.

6Candied Chestnuts from 'Redwall'

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Forget about roasted chestnuts. It's all about candied chestnuts. At least, if you're a sword-wielding mouse who lives at Redwall, then you'd probably prefer to celebrate the holidays with candied chestnuts and daring tales of the mouse heroes of old.

Hot Cocoa from 'The Polar Express'

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It's hardly winter without hot chocolate. And the hot chocolate from The Polar Express is definitely up there when it comes to the best literary descriptions of the warm, rich beverage. Make your own extra creamy cocoa with this recipe, and top with marshmallow fluff.

Latkes from 'The Latke Who Couldn't Stop Screaming'

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The Latke Who Couldn't Stop Screaming: a Christmas Story is already a new holiday classic for fans of Christmas, Hanukkah, and potato pancakes in general. Make your very own emotionally distressed latke, and top with applesauce and sour cream for a sweet and savory snack.

Pepparkakor from 'Pippi Longstocking'

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If you've never had Swedish holiday cooking before, you are missing out, my friend. Bake some traditional pepparkakor cookies for your holiday smörgåsbord, just like the one and only Pippi Longstocking (but... maybe don't make your cookies on the floor).

Christmas Pudding from 'A Christmas Carol'

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Is it truly the holiday season if you don't light your dessert on fire? For the more ambitious chefs out there, you can go for the ultimate literary treat and try your hand at the Christmas pudding from A Christmas Carol. The actual pudding in question is not like an American pudding so much as a holiday fruitcake, and yes... you are supposed to soak it in alcohol and then set it ablaze.

Sugar Plums from 'The Night Before Christmas'

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Sugar plums feature in a lot of holiday literature, which begs the question... what is a sugar plum? Wonder no more with this recipe for traditional Victorian sugar plums, as seen in The Night Before Christmas.