Our Flower of the Month - The Poinsettia

The Poinsettia is a plant species of the diverse spurge family (euphorbiaceae), and is indigenous to Mexico. It derives its name from Joel Roberts Poinsett, the first United States Minister to Mexico, who introduced the now iconic plant to the US in 1825. The coloured brants, most often vibrant red in colour but can also be orange, cream, pink, white, pale green and marbled, are often mistaken for the flower, when in fact these are the leaves. The flower is actually the yellow clustered buds in the centre. Every December, many of us bring a beautifully rich flame red poinsettia into our home, but have you ever wondered why we associate this plant with Christmas? The association comes from

Festive Foods Around the World

Let’s face it, festive foods are just the best, and a staple in most people’s (definitely ours) December diets! Here at Gastaldi HQ, not a day goes by in December without someone bringing in a festive treat to have with your morning coffee. Seen as we’re well and truly in the Christmas spirit, we decided to take a look at some of the different culinary traditions from across the globe. The German Christmas feast is historically centred around the Weihnachtsgans, the Christmas goose. In Northern Italy, sweet foods play an important role during the festive season, one of the most popular being the Panettone. In Costa Rica, it’s all about making Tamales. The base of the Tamale is a corn dough

Spotlight on...Christmas Trees!

Seen as the Gastaldi Elves spend an awful lot of December whizzing around Monaco delivering, decorating and dancing around Christmas trees, we thought we’d share a few little interesting festive tree facts! Long before the advent of Christianity, plants and trees that remained green all year round had a special meaning for people in the winter, and specifically around the winter solstice. In ancient times people hung evergreen boughs over their doors and windows, many believing that they would keep away witches, ghosts, evil spirits, and illness! 1000 years ago in Northern Europe Christmas trees were hung upside down from chandeliers! The first documented use of a tree at Christmas was in th

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