Try making one of these exotic holiday dishes from around the world!
It’s Christmas time all around the world! While the Philippines has its own tradition of Christmas meals (lechon, fruit salad, spaghetti), somewhere around the world, a family is having their own too. Here are exotic Christmas food traditions from around the world.
Image Source: smithsonianmag.com
When it comes to holiday food traditions from around the world, you can’t beat Japan: around Christmas time, the traditional family holiday meal is KFC. That’s right, take-out fried chicken. And it’s not just a spontaneous trip down to the local KFC to get it either. They order it up to two months in advance. Marketing for the Christmas Party Bucket was so successful in Japan that it has become a Christmas Eve tradition there!
That’s a Christmas pudding! It’s basically a fruit cake prepared in November. Sometimes it’s even aged for more months or even a year; the high alcohol content of the pudding prevents it from spoiling during this time. The pudding is composed of many dried fruits held together by egg and suet, sometimes moistened by treacle or molasses and flavoured with cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, and other spices. It will be steamed again before serving and then doused with brandy and set alight. An old coin or charm can be baked into the pudding, giving good luck to whoever finds it.
When you think European Christmas food, you imagine cookies, chocolate, strudels, gingerbread men. But in the Czech Republic, the traditional Christmas food is fish soup. In the Czech, Christmas begins on the eve of December 24 and lasts through December 26. Christmas Eve is called “Generous Day” in Czech, and the abundance of food at the dinner table gives the truth to that label. Soup is a staple for meals and as carp is commonly served for the holiday, it is no surprise that fish soup comes along with it. The meal begins traditionally when the first star appears in the sky that night.
India may have a very small Christian population, but that doesn’t mean the Christmas celebration is sparse in any way. Just look at these adorable coconut cookies called kulkuls, light flaky buttery pieces of rolled pastry, deep fried and coated in crystallized sugar syrup. Typical Christmas snack among the Indian Christian community.
Lithuania (and their Twelve Dishes for Christmas Eve)
Traditionally, twelve dishes are to be served on a Christmas Eve table in Lithuania, a tiny country in Europe. The twelve dishes symbolize the twelve months of the year and the dinner is to start once the Western star rises.
So what are the typical 12 dishes that you would find on a Lithuanian Kūčios dinner?
Typically, herring with carrots or mushrooms is one of the main dishes, and you may find dumplings stuffed with sauerkraut. While this twelve-dish spread is popular in Poland and Ukraine as well, in Lithuania you are unlikely to find many sweets on the table. Kūčios in Lithuania is a vegetarian’s Christmas dream, unless herring’s a problem.
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