The best memories of Christmas usually involve food. Families reunite to exchange gifts and share laughter over the dining table filled with delectable traditional dishes. No matter where in the world you celebrate the holiday, the season is more than tradition and family – it’s also about food. In this month’s blog, World Juanderer lists down the traditional dishes found on the table of eight countries. Read on to get an idea or two for your next Christmas celebration!
1. Southern Italy
Traditional Christmas feasts in Italy vary depending on the region but the famous dish located in the southern part of the country is called Feast of the Seven Fishes. It consists of seven seafood dishes – a symbolic number that is mostly repeated in the bible. Some popular dishes are baccala (salt cod), baked cod, fried calamari, fried shrimp, linguine with clam or lobster sauce, octopus salad, and shrimp cocktail.
The locals dine smorgasbord-style called julbord or Christmas table. It is full of traditional dishes that are reminiscent of the celebration that came after a period of fasting from the beginning of Advent until midnight of Christmas Eve. The dishes include pickled herring, cured salmon, meatballs, bread, liver pate, red beet salad, cheese, and cabbage.
3. Eastern Europe
Meats are kept off the table by the regulations of the Nativity Fast by the Orthodox and Eastern Catholic churches. But traditionally, 12 dishes are served for dinner of Christmas Eve as the number represents the 12 Apostles.
The biggest treat for Christmas night is the Buche de Noel, a French version of the Yule log. This is a rich chocolate swiss roll decorated with meringue “mushrooms” and other edible items that completes nature.
A popular and essential Christmas dish for the British is the mince pie. The recipe is a tradition that can be dated all the way back to the 13th century. It consists of spices such as nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, and mixed into a dried fruit mixture called mincemeat.
Christmas feast takes long as it consists of traditional family recipes served in courses. They begin their dinner with various tapas, then move on to soup as the first course. The second course is usually fish or lamb and the common dessert is Turron, a nougat mixed with honey, sugar, egg whites, and almonds.
7. New Zealand
The country shares some British desserts such as mince pie and Christmas pudding but their popular dish is Pavlova, a meringue pastry that is light with a crisp crust, topped with pomegranate seeds and Chantilly cream.
The famous Yuletide dessert for the Irish is the Christmas Pudding with brandy butter or sherry sauce.