December marks the darkest time of the year. Happily, it culminates in Christmas, a celebration of warmth and light, and a genuine feast with tables full of delicacies. At Christmastime, being together and sharing the joy is as important as food prepared from the heart. And shared moments like these are worth repeating even after Christmas.

Shared meals generate happiness and well-being

We often have too little time for friends and colleagues in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. A shared meal is an easy way to break this cycle and have a breather, take it easy for a moment and recharge. At Christmas, we want to be with the people closest to us and experience a sense of community – to sit at the same table. Christmas is not just celebrated at home, but visible in the mood and food of staff restaurants at workplaces.   

“Our guests’ well-being is important for us. We want to do our part to encourage shared meals”, says Tuomas Kesti, Gastro Chef at Fazer Food Services. “At their best, shared meals generate happiness and well-being. Sitting down for a good meal is comforting. It gives you a chance to hear your friends’ latest news and for a relaxed moment together. These moments are etched in our memories and may serve as a trigger for making shared meals more of a rule rather than the exception”, adds Kesti. 

New dishes are taking over the Christmas table

Traditions have a strong foothold when it comes to Christmas dishes, but even so, an increasing number of us are flexitarian or vegan.

“Traditional Christmas delicacies are always good. The popularity of vegetarian food is growing all the time, as their healthiness, freshness and the lighter feeling they generate make an increasing number of people choose vegetables”, says Kesti. 

You can try a menu containing more vegetables over the holidays by serving a vegetarian or vegan version of a traditional Christmas dish.

 Christmas celeriac (or Jouluselleri in Finnish) is a vegan “Christmas ham”, marinated overnight in a smoky marinade and given its crispy coating with a duqqa spice mix. A vegan carrot casserole (or porkkanalaatikko) is easy to conjure when using the Fazer Yosa Original oat drink for the liquid. And a vegan Wienernougat Christmas tree  makes for a wonderful treat with which to round up a delicious Christmas dinner.