Paniers de Noël: Une belle tradition - Cuisine d'Espagne

Christmas baskets: A beautiful tradition

May 05, 2023

Christmas baskets: What are they?

Christmas hampers, also known as "gift hampers" or "gourmet boxes", are gifts given during the Christmas period which often contain a selection of food and/or drink products.

The origin of Christmas hampers is of uncertain origin, but it is generally accepted that it dates back to the 19th century English tradition of the "Christmas hamper". Originally, the baskets were filled with food and drink for servants in English country houses, who were allowed to return home for Christmas with a basket of provisions. The baskets were often filled with items such as ham, cakes, biscuits, tea, wine and dried fruit.

The tradition then spread to other countries, notably the United States, Canada and Spain, where Christmas baskets are often given by companies to their employees or customers. In these countries, baskets are often filled with luxury food products, such as smoked salmon, fine chocolates, imported wines and cheeses.

For the case of Spain, Christmas hampers are known as "cestas de Navidad" or "lotería de Navidad", as they are often offered in association with the tradition of the Spanish Christmas lottery. Cestas de Navidad are often given by employers to their employees, but also by friends and family members to celebrate the holidays.

Cestas de Navidad can contain a variety of food items, such as wines, cold meats, dried fruits and chocolates, as well as non-food items, such as Christmas decorations, toys and practical gifts. Products included in cestas de Navidad may vary depending on the region and local traditions. It is also common in Spain to offer "turrón", a traditional Christmas confectionery made with almonds and honey, as a gift or as an accompaniment to a Christmas basket.

Cestas de Navidad are often seen as an expression of gratitude and appreciation, and their content can vary depending on the relationship between the givers and recipients.

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