28 Dec2014

Someone sent me this link to a Washington Post article on the average number of calories at a Christmas Holiday Meal, the article claiming say 2,000 calories for one typical holiday meal (compared to say 700-800 calories for a normal meal as part of a say 2,000 calorie a day intake). It also stated that while 4,500 calories was probably the upper end of the spectrum in one seating, it was not something a lot of folks could actually do. Hmmm.

So one of our dinner guests asked the obvious question after the fact, “how many calories do you think we might have consumed at the MM Holiday Dinner?” So here is my roughly approximated answer. Though not everyone had every dessert, and some drank more than others (though the average was roughly 9 glasses of bubbly and wine per person over two nights), this is just to freak some of the guests out and force them to put in an extra five or six workouts to make up for the excess. I have to admit, this was more than we usually serve for the snazziest of meals, but the idea was for folks to leave our home after having at least 25 different dishes, sweets, drinks, etc. I think we succeeded for the most part.

Pica-Pica – Approximately 762 calories

2 Tbsp of mixed baked nuts – 102 calories (we finished two cups plus per dinner)
6 pcs roasted and salted macadamias – 100
10 roasted and salted pistachio nuts – 40
5 small slices of jamon serrano (25grams) – 70 (surprisingly low calorie, but extremely high in salt)
3 slices of venison, pork, boar dried sausage – 60
1 Tbsp pork rillettes (50 grams) – 170 (seriously wicked, some folks had 4-5 servings of this!)
3 pcs sliced and toasted french bread – 150 (bread/carbs are the deadly calorie inflator)
1 glass of prosecco – 70

Cold Appetizers – Approximately 690+ calories

Crab with Mayonnaise and Tarragon 2 tbsp – 80 calories
Gravlax with Salmon Roe & Dill – 90
Pickled radish, carrots and pomegranate arils – 20
Boquerones with roasted red pepper – 40
Tuna Tartare – 120 (more calories than I expected, but overall the seafood appetizers were quite healthy)
Pickled beets – 20
Mussels vinaigrette – 80
Shrimp cocktail – 50
Fried Sardine – 150 calories (in lieu of crab on the second evening)

Champagne for welcome toast – 70
White wine – 120

Hot Appetizers – Approximately 745 calories

Roasted Bone Marrow (2 tbsp) – 150 calories (many folks had more than 2 Tbsp, way more…)
Small serving of callos au gratin – 150
Oxtail marmalade – 150 (conservative estimate)
Pea shoot salad with vinaigrette – 20
Three thin slices of toasted french bread – 150 (double your bread intake and see the calories zoom up)
1 glass red wine – 125

Butternut Squash Soup – Approximately 120 calories

Main Course – Approximately 1,130 calories

8-10 oz prime rib (one generous slice) – 500+ calories
Gravy (reasonable amount) – 100
Roasted potatoes in goose fat – 200
Vegetables – 80
2 glasses of red wine (though many had more) – 250

Cheese course – Approximately 340 calories

3 small servings of cheese – 240 calories (could have been 3x as much for some cheese lovers)
Dried fruit – 60
Crackers – 40

Desserts – Approximately 720 calories, but no one ate ALL of the desserts that evening.

Crème brulee (small ramekin) – 150 calories
Mousse au chocolat (small serving) – 100
Apple crostata – 100
Pecan hand pies – 100
Chocolate Bark (just a small piece) – 40
Nut brittle – 40
Chocolate covered orange rind (one large piece) – 40
Pate des fruits (one square) – 20
Cookies (one large piece) – 50
1 glass Dessert Wine – 80

Grand Total for a good eater who drank wine as well and ate a lot of dessert – Approximately 4,507 calories

If you took seconds of major calorie items or drank more than average – Approximately 5,000+ calories

If you were good and didn’t eat all desserts and didn’t drink much wine – Approximately 2,700-3,000 calories

We only do this once a year. And this was probably the highest calorie meal we have ever presented. It shall be scaled back next year, I promise. :)




  1. Connie C says:

    One can truly say, this was a meal to die for, literally and figuratively:)

    Dec 28, 2014 | 5:43 pm


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  3. Joey says:

    “Pickled radish, carrots and pomegranate arils – 20”

    This is the only item I should be having with the supercalorificexpiadelicious meals I have been eating these days.
    And oh- plus the
    “Pate des fruits (one square) – 20”

    for the lavishing’s sake ;-)

    Dec 28, 2014 | 6:05 pm

  4. Dreaming! says:

    I know! I gained 3 pounds!!! But is was delicious.

    Dec 28, 2014 | 6:23 pm

  5. Riyaz says:

    Only one word – Yummy!

    Dec 28, 2014 | 6:26 pm

  6. sister says:

    Surely no one ate all that…

    Dec 28, 2014 | 6:55 pm

  7. Marketman says:

    Sister, that’s what I thought, except several guests had two if not 3 slices of beef. One extra slice made up for almost ALL the desserts. As for the wines, we finished a good 25 bottles out of 29 brought by guests on two nights, so that’s an average of one bottle per guest (some had nearly two!) or roughly 8-9 glasses for those drinking. That’s 1,000 calories just for the wine. Yipes is right. Those that didn’t drink and didn’t have much dessert ate a less shocking 2700+ calories or so, enough for 30 hours of fuel on a normal diet for a medium sized man. Thanks goodness no one got “bangugot” or massive pancreatic failure as a result. Need to have releases signed next time.

    Dec 28, 2014 | 7:43 pm

  8. Lee says:

    Will calorie numbers be printed in your next Holiday Dinner menu? It would be interesting :)

    Dec 28, 2014 | 8:00 pm

  9. Marketman says:

    Lee, never, unless the goal was to go through less food! But what’s interesting are the hidden bombs… the bread is a far less good use of the calories compared to a wedge of wonderful cheese. And the jamon serrano was surprisingly good in terms of calories. And one square of pate de fruits is all you need for a hint of luxury, so Joey up above got that right. A single marron glace, or candied chestnut, that we did not put out those nights, is a whopping 250-300 calories per piece, size dependent, or just two of them would be a generous slice of roast beef… so it’s good to know, but I wouldn’t publish it on the menus. :)

    Dec 28, 2014 | 8:10 pm

  10. netoy says:

    If I am going to have that kind of a meal then calories be damned! I can always burn those calories out over a couple of days but more than likely, that once-in-a-holiday food extravaganza will never be duplicated again :))

    Congratulations MM for hosting a splendid dinner and here’s to an even more fruitful year ahead for you and your family.

    Dec 29, 2014 | 1:13 am

  11. La Emperor says:

    Ouch! I hope you skipped meals in the following days to bring down your average, MM. :) Perfect post for the upcoming New Year. Guilt and tribulation, its a good motivation.

    amazing food line up though…

    Dec 29, 2014 | 1:24 am

  12. marilen says:

    For such a feast – calories be damned, right ?? You only live once !! Thanks, MM, for the delicious visuals. Happy new year to all.

    Dec 29, 2014 | 9:12 am

  13. Natie says:

    All worth it! I would have had a taste of all… Just a taste…

    Dec 29, 2014 | 11:55 pm

  14. ami says:

    Ignorance is bliss!

    Dec 30, 2014 | 11:53 am

  15. Monty says:

    I read that Manny Pacquiao eats 6,000 calories per day when in training. So counting breakfast and lunch, this must have been very near that total. That’s 3-4 days worth of calories all in one day.

    Jan 1, 2015 | 3:02 pm

  16. tiln says:

    Happy new year! I was laughing at the huge amount of calories served up, but then no one really counts when heavenly food is on the table. Your holiday meals sound like a Babette’s Feast – something difficult to resist I believe. :)

    Jan 3, 2015 | 1:48 pm

  17. lynn says:

    happy new year MM, i belong to a nutrition club and when they counted everything that i ate during new year’s eve, it amounted to 3,750 calories because i had a small serving of lechon, a day after i had a weigh in, and yes i gained a pound which isnt so bad considering that i was over my limit of 1000 calories per day during the holiday season.

    Jan 5, 2015 | 10:11 am

  18. Kasseopeia says:

    Calorie shmalorie! I say, bring it on!

    Happy 2015, MM and Family, and to this wonderful online community!

    Jan 5, 2015 | 3:01 pm


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