I·ATE Food Term of the Week: Bûche de Noël

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Buche de Noel

Bûche de Noël is a French cake eaten during the Christmas holidays and shaped like a log. The main ingredient? Chocolate! In fact, it is (or at least it was born as) a flourless chocolate cake rolled with chocolate whipped cream, decorated with confectioners’ sugar to resemble snow.

As a result, this cake is perfect not only for people with celiac disease, but also for chocolate lovers!

Traditionally, on the morning of December 25th, mothers used to prepare Bûche de Noël with the help of their sons, in order to present a beautiful dessert at the end of the Christmas meal and eat it with the whole family gathered.

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But modern times brought some changes; on the one hand, today not everyone is actually baking (but rather buying) Bûche de Noël, on the other hand also the variety changed.

In fact, in pastry shops you can find Bûche de Noël in a lot of different colours and flavours.

When and why?

The birth of a log cake dates back to medieval times and refers to a pagan rite celebrated at Christmas. Families used to bring home a log of wood and place it in their land property, their main source of income at that time.

To guarantee a plentiful harvest the following year, they threw on it salt, wine, or water. Then, on Christmas Eve, they lit it up and the log had to burn for at least three days for good luck.

But… How did it end up becoming a cake?

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Little by little, houses changed and property lands were no more part of them. With no place (and probably no beliefs) left for the Christmas log rituals, smaller logs were placed as a decorative reminder on top of tables, and it was only a matter of time before someone realized that it would be a lot nicer to eat the log rather than simply watching it.

The bûche de Noël as a dessert was born!

If you liked this article, you may also be interested in the one of Panettone.

REFERENCIES

Delish. 2021. Best Bûche de Noël Recipe – How To Make Yule Log Cake for Christmas. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/a24276998/buche-de-noel-yule-log-cake-recipe/. [Accessed 14 December 2021].

Delish. 2021. Best Bûche de Noël Recipe – How To Make Yule Log Cake for Christmas. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/a24276998/buche-de-noel-yule-log-cake-recipe/. [Accessed 14 December 2021].


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written by Giulia Battisti

Giulia holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Languages for translating and interpretation and a Master’s Degree in Digital Marketing and Global Markets. She is now combining the two careers as a Communication Trainee in the Terminology Coordination Unit of the European Parliament.