National Cookie Exchange Day
National Cookie Exchange Day takes place annually on 22 December. It has been observed since 2015. Cookies first came to prominence in areas where sugar was abundant thousands of years ago, and cakes were an extreme delicacy. In order to test the cakes with the ingredients they had, it’s believed they made miniature versions as trial cakes.
The first form of “cookie exchanges” began during the Middle Ages. During this period, spices and dried exotic fruits were becoming increasingly popular in baking methods. At first Cookies were expensive and considered exotic so families could only afford to bake cookies at Christmastime. They shared these special treats with family, friends, and neighbors.
Christmas cookies had ingredients like cinnamon, ginger, and dried fruit. By the seventeenth century, different types of Christmas biscuits were popular in different European countries. The Dutch brought Christmas cookies to the United States in the seventeenth century. Many cookie cutters were being imported from Germany by the end of the nineteenth century, which led to the proliferation of cookie recipes in cookbooks. Christmas cookies made with cookie cutters often depict candy canes, angels, stars, Santa, and Christmas trees.
National Date Nut Bread Day
National Date Nut Bread Day is an unofficial holiday which takes place annually on December 22
Dates are the fruit of the date palm. Food historians believe that the date palm was first cultivated for its fruit in the Middle East around 6000 BC and have been a staple food of the Middle East and the Indus Valley for thousands of years. They have been cultivated since ancient times from Mesopotamia to prehistoric Egypt. The Spaniards introduced dates into Mexico and California in 1765. Dates provide essential nutrients and are an excellent source of dietary potassium. In ripe dates, the sugar content is about 80% with the remainder consisting of protein, fibre and trace elements of boron, cobalt, copper, fluorine, magnesium, manganese, selenium and zinc. Farmers classify dates based on their texture and the sugar content into 3 types. These are soft, dry and semi-dry dates.
A nut is a fruit composed of an inedible hard shell and a seed, which is generally edible. In general usage, a wide variety of dried seeds are called nuts, but in a botanical context “nut” implies that the shell does not open to release the seed (indehiscent). The translation of “nut” in certain languages frequently requires paraphrases, as the word is ambiguous.
Most seeds come from fruits that naturally free themselves from the shell, unlike nuts such as hazelnuts, chestnuts, and acorns, which have hard shell walls and originate from a compound ovary. The general and original usage of the term is less restrictive, and many nuts (in the culinary sense), such as almonds, pecans, pistachios, walnuts, and Brazil nuts, are not nuts in a botanical sense. Common usage of the term often refers to any hard-walled, edible kernel as a nut.
Many nuts are good sources of vitamins E and B2 and are also rich in protein, folate fiber and essential minerals such as magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper and selenium. Several studies have shown that those who consume nuts on a regular basis are less likely to suffer from coronary heart disease. (CHD) It was in 1993 that nuts were first linked to protections against CHD. Since that time, many clinical trials have found that consumption of various nuts such as almonds and walnuts can lower serum LDL cholesterol concentrations.