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How to Prevent Colds and Sore Throats with Christmas Cake

Via Paolo Sarpi in Milan at Christmas 2014

Well, I’m sure you are dying to know how the blazes Christmas cake can prevent colds and sore throats, so I’ll explain.

The Christmas tradition in Milan goes that if you put a piece of your Christmas Day Christmas cake away until the 3rd February, when said piece of cake should be eaten, you’ll invoke the healing powers of Saint Blaise, or San Biago, as he’s known in Italy. February 3rd, you see, is the feast of Saint Blaise.

After having your, probably rather stale, Christmas cake and eating it in February, the health-giving powers of the good saint will protect you from sore throats and colds for a whole year. This is what I was told by an Italian I know and this quaint Italian tradition is mentioned by the Italian Wikipedia entry on Saint Blaise.

This holy person is actually the patron saint of wool combers, but he is also known for his healing powers. He apparently saved a child from certain death at the hands of a fishbone, hence his healing reputation. How the saint’s healing powers led to this cold and sore throat prevention tradition, I know not.

Whether this little Christmas tradition will work with other varieties of  Christmas cake – the Milan tale mentions panettone, I have no idea. Even so, no harm in trying, and it might save you a bit on cold and sore throat treatments.

Prevent colds and sore throats with panettone Christmas cake
Prevent colds and sore throats with panettone Christmas cake

I’m not sure how edible that stashed piece of panettone will be in February. The tradition does not mention where the sacred piece of potentially protective Christmas cake should be kept, so it could be popped in your freezer.

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Just don’t forget to eat it on February 3rd or else your health may suffer.

Who needs flu vaccines?!

P.S. This solution may not prevent colds and sore throats unless you are an up to date Roman Catholic who lives in Milan, Italy.  Beppe, the Italian who told me about this tradition, lives in Lecco, not Milan. He says he’s remained with a serious sore throat for years. That this tradition will keep colds at bay too is not something he mentioned. I’ll take him to task for withholding this vital piece of information the next time I see him.

P.P.S. If you do try this and remain cold and sore throat free for a year, please let us all know.
By the way, Amazon.com has a good selection of panettone Christmas Cakes, like this one:

Tre Marie Italian Panettone, Milanese

Lots more panettone cakes can be found on Amazon.com here. Here’s to a cold and sore throat free 2017 🙂

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