Can You Identify These Christmas British Sweets From an Image?

FOOD & DRINK

By: Zoe Samuel

7 Min Quiz

Image: Anna Kurzaeva/Moment/GettyImages

About This Quiz

Christmas is the one time of the year that no matter the state of your health, it is not only socially acceptable to make no effort whatsoever to restrain your gluttonous impulses, but it's also actually potentially rude to do so. After all, if someone has spent time and effort on the most important holiday of the year to labour over a hot stove or thoughtfully pick out chocolates they think you'll like, it would be downright insulting to turn them down. If you've already consumed 2,000 calories worth of turkey alone, well, that's too bad. You'll just have to reassure yourself that New Year's Eve is right around the corner, and you're sure to keep your resolution to abstain from all unhealthy things going forward.

This means, of course, that there is likely to be a veritable smorgasbord of Christmassy goodies available to you. The savory ones are well-known, naturally — there's the turkey, plus the roast potatoes, the chestnuts with sprouts, the stuffing, and of course, the chipolatas wrapped in bacon. However, while some of the sweet options are household names, some are unique to specific family traditions. How well would you recognize them? Let's find out!

These autumnal fruits may be past their best by Christmas, but this offers them a new lease on life. What is it?

Pears are a fruit that many people don't quite feel qualified to cook, but a poached pear is a thing of beauty. If you poach it in honey, ginger, and red wine, all the alcohol will burn off, and you'll have a delightful and surprising seasonal dessert!

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An alternative to tea, what is this lovely hot drink?

A cup of tea is a lovely English delight, but it's not very decadent or Christmassy. It's better to celebrate the Christmas season by swapping in a delicious hot chocolate instead! If you prefer cocoa, just add a little sugar for those with a sweeter tooth.

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Traditionally found in a Christmas stocking, what is this fruit that Brits give as a Christmas treat?

Some may say, "But a small variety of orange is not a sweet!" However, they are a proper traditional Christmas treat, that symbolises both sharing (because they come in segments), generosity (because they used to be very hard to come by in the UK in winter), and giving. The latter comes from a story about St. Nicholas throwing sacks of gold down a chimney, which landed in the stockings of the household's daughters, set to dry by the fire. The oranges symbolise this gift and the resulting wealth.

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This may not be a British sweet, but it's a British tradition. What is it?

Turkish delight has been popular in the UK for well over a hundred years and is often eaten in the winter months, especially at Christmas. Just make sure you don't accept any from a mysterious woman in a sleigh, as she is the Snow Queen, and her Turkish delight comes at a price.

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These little rodents are welcome at any Christmas. What are they?

Sugar mice may be quite the sweetness explosion, but that doesn't stop the true Christmas connoisseur from enjoying one. 'Tis the season, and besides, they do make a lovely table decoration until you eat them!

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Can you name this dessert that features in a famous carol?

"Now bring us some figgy pudding!" is the second verse of the song, "We wish you a Merry Christmas!" and you cannot argue with the message. Figgy pudding has been around for at least 700 years and is a British classic. It's also a great way to use up any figs before they go bad!

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Can you name these delicious sugary, almond-y goodies?

Little marzipan fruits are never more popular than at Christmas time, as they add a splash of colour and some cheer to the table. They usually come with dessert, and they're a fun alternative to yet more chocolate!

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What is this traditional, bready cake?

Britain has always been open to bringing home the cultural ideas of other nations, and this includes the wonderful German Christmas invention that is stollen cake. It's a kind of bread made with nuts and spices and dusted with icing sugar. It's delicious and a nice change from regular cake!

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Can you name these polarising candies often eaten in the holiday season?

Liquorice allsorts are generally the primary way that liquorice is eaten these days, but the black candy is itself a British favourite dating back many centuries. It was first imported from the Middle East via Europe, and while it is less popular these days, lots of people still like it.

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What is this crunchy toffee delight?

Honeycomb is a crunchy kind of toffee, as opposed to the usual stickier variety. It is often homemade over the Christmas season and sometimes coated in chocolate. It's brittle and gets stuck in your teeth easily, but it's worth the extra time cleaning them afterwards!

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What sort of nut is inside this candy shell?

Sugared almonds, sometimes made even yummier by adding an extra layer of chocolate coating, have been popular in Britain for generations. They can be deceptive, though, as they look like chocolates, so if you have a guest who doesn't like nuts, warn them before they bite into one!

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What is this dessert that you might make if you like your wine served extra-chilled?

Mulled wine is a Christmas classic, but if you don't want to booze it up, these days, it's considered a good idea to turn it into a dessert instead. You can even make a non-alcoholic version that tastes just as good — and results in fewer unpleasant conversations at Christmas dinner!

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What is this Scottish delight of the holiday season?

Dundee cake hails from the Scottish city the same name and is full of currants, almonds, and possibly whisky. You can mix it up with various fruit peels and other additions, so find a recipe you like and go to town!

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Do you recognize this excellent treat that exhorts you to "tap and unwrap" it?

We mentioned earlier that giving a satsuma was a Christmas tradition, and Terry's Chocolate Orange invokes this. Following a very successful advertising campaign about how one should fill one's entire stocking with Chocolate Oranges, it has been a popular Christmas snack.

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What is this treat that combines Jewish and Christian tradition?

Chocolate money is often given for both Hanukah and Christmas, so it does double duty. These foil-wrapped coins come in white, dark and milk varieties, and they are often given to children in their stockings.

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A mix that has something for everyone, what does this wonderful tin contain?

Celebrations are miniature versions of many of the UK's favourite chocolate bars, and they are widely loved despite not having been around that long. They have empowered us all to feel like we've had lots of chocolate bars, but they are really small, so they hardly count ... right?

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Can you name these gooey Christmas confections?

Truffles are another chocolate that some cultures love all year but that the British tend to prefer in the darker months, probably thanks to how decadent and rich they are. Bringing truffles as a gift is always a smooth move for any Christmas guest coming to a British home!

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What are these candied fruits?

Candied fruit slices are a traditional treat at Christmas, and they make a break in the monotony of all that chocolate. Plus, once you have had a few, your palate is now cleansed and you can eat more chocolate.

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A Christmas classic ... but what is it called?

A mince pie does not contain mince. It contains "mincemeat," which is a mix of raisins, cinnamon, cloves, orange and other spices. They are a classic Christmas treat that has been around for generations, hence a name that erroneously strikes the modern ear as decidedly non-vegetarian.

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What are these minty delights often served after dinner?

No meal is complete without an after-dinner mint served with the coffee, and Matchmakers are just sweet enough to gratify a sweet tooth but dark enough to please those who prefer less sugar. Give them a go!

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Can you name this nutty chocolate, that enjoyed one of the most successful ad campaigns of all time?

Ferrero Rocher is a French confection that is popular in the UK, and often given by guests. It's become particularly noteworthy due to a hilariously badly-dubbed advertisement set at an ambassadorial reception, which means you still can't serve it in Britain without people putting on bad French accents to make fun of it. As a result, it's a great icebreaker.

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Can you identify this dessert, that often arrives on fire?

Christmas pudding is not served as often as its fans might like, but it usually pops up at Christmas lunch. It is made of sponge, plus various fruits and often some brandy. Make sure you chew carefully, as there is often money hidden in the pudding, and you wouldn't want to chip a tooth!

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What is this sweet, minty chocolate all about?

A lovely peppermint cream has been a popular confection in the UK for a couple of hundred years, at least. They come in various shapes and sizes from multiple brands, and indeed, you can even buy a box of fancy ones at the House of Commons gift shop!

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Can you identify this candy that typically comes in an anthropomorphic shape?

Gingerbread is often served at Christmas, and many families make a tradition out of decorating gingerbread men together to create elves, snowmen, or little Father Christmases. The trick to tasty gingerbread is not to overcook it — it is at its best when it is a bit gooey.

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These days, these sweets are somewhat out of style. What are they called?

Candy canes are still big in the USA, but they're not very popular in the UK, though they were traditionally a favourite. Still, they are handy to have around in a pinch, because you can hang them on the Christmas tree!

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Can you identify these fondant candies that are equally loved and loathed?

Coffee creams are another particular favourite in the UK that is less common across the pond among our American cousins. They are often given by guests at Christmas, but do make sure your host likes them first!

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This Christmas treat sounds meatier than it is. Can you identify it?

If you love brownies and you love mince pies (and you remember that there is no actual meat in them), then why not make mince pie brownies? They are a relatively new invention, and you can find good recipes online, so make a family activity out of it, and you'll enjoy a lovely fruity confection!

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What is this Christmassy take on summery dessert?

Victoria sponge cake is a British classic, but it is a little too summery for the winter months. However, thanks to modern assumptions that favourites will be available all year, and some TV chefs coming up with wintry recipes, these days it is considered a fashionable option to make a Christmassy version, simply by adding the appropriate spices.

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What is this excellent Christmas pudding alternative?

Traditionally, a Yule log was a chunk of wood that would be burned at Christmas for a lovely warm home. However, these days it means a pudding that is designed to look like a short log. It's often a sort of giant roly-poly coated in chocolate, but if you're really good at baking, you'll decorate it to look just like a log!

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It's Cadbury's most successful box (or tin) of chocolates. What is it called?

Roses or one of their counterparts are a must-have for Christmas in most British houses. Indeed, it would be positively tragic to get through the holiday season without at least one enormous tin of choccies — and if you get through it entirely too quickly, then you've really gotten into the Christmas spirit!

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What is this buttery, sugary delight called?

What would Christmas be without a lovely block of fudge? Chocolate, vanilla, orange, mint, or butter, it's all good. Delicious fudge makes everything better! It's traditionally a good gift to bring, as it keeps for a long time, meaning that (unless they gobble it all up in one go), your hosts will remember you fondly for several weeks.

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Can you name this popular biscuit, often brought by guests around Christmas?

Shortbread is a Scottish invention and usually eaten in the winter months. It is a butter biscuit (that's a cookie to an American) made with sugar and flour. Some people adore it, while others find it a smidge on the bland side.

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Can you name this positively religious or technical-sounding candy?

The Scottish treat known as tablet is a bit like solidified fondant, and not wholly unlike fudge — and it is delicious, as long as you have a VERY sweet tooth. It's not even as hard to make as you'd think, and it keeps quite well, so you should consider cooking some up as a family activity this Christmas!

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Can you identify this cake traditionally served at the tail end of Christmas?

Twelfth Night cake is a traditional fruitcake that is served on January 6th, the last night of Christmas. It often includes a variety of fruits and sometimes brandy, though you can certainly enjoy a non-alcoholic variety.

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What are these chocolates, that typically appear the night before Christmas?

Hanging chocolates on the Christmas tree is a grand tradition that goes back to at least Victorian times and possibly earlier, while the trees themselves are probably a 16th-century German tradition. The chocolates are hung on Christmas Eve, usually after children have gone to bed, so that they can be a delightful surprise. Just remember to hang them out of reach of any dogs, as chocolate is very bad for them!

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Plenty of custard and fruit went into this dessert. What is it?

Trifle is a grand British tradition, made of layers of sponge fingers that come with custard, fruit, whipped cream, and sherry or brandy. It's very decadent, but hey, 'tis the season! We say go for it!

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You'll need a marmalade to make this Christmas dessert. What is it called?

Fruitcake is a popular seasonal treat, as are hot toddies, so why not combine them? A hot toddy is a whisky drink made with honey, water, and spices, and a fruitcake is, well, a fruitcake. Put them together, and you have a surprising and wonderful Christmas sweet.

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An all-year classic takes on a holiday twist. Can you identify it?

Rock is a British candy that typically comes in stick form, often with a word — such as the name of the local town — appearing in it. It's fiendishly sugary and very brittle, and it can get stuck in your teeth easily. Enjoy the Christmas variety, but remember to floss!

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Can you identify this meringue-and-sponge confection?

This melange of custard, cake, jam, and meringue is a fine British winter dessert that will dazzle your guests, partly because it tastes great and partly because it's really quite hard to pull off. Still, the effort involved is worth the result, and it's a bit more interesting than Christmas pudding.

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What is this traditional Christmas dessert that involves plenty of marzipan?

This cake is favoured by none other than Mary Berry herself and is a fun pudding with which to surprise your Christmas guests. It's British despite the name, as it was created by a baker who was stationed in Tunis in World War Two.

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