Christmas Food and Recipe Traditions From Around the World
Christmas is a time for family, friends, and, of course, food! Whether you're enjoying a traditional Christmas dinner or trying out new holiday recipes, food is an important part of the Christmas season. There are so many different Christmas food traditions from around the world. Join me as I explore Christmas recipes and food traditions from around the world!
Traditional Christmas foods from around Europe
There are so many different traditional Christmas foods and recipes in Europe! In France, one of the most popular Christmas dishes is oysters which are often served with a beautiful glass of French champagne throughout the Réveillon meal on Christmas eve.
In Germany, many people enjoy a dish called Sauerbraten, which is a roast beef that is marinated in vinegar and spices. Other popular German Christmas dishes include bratwurst and Stollen (a fruitcake).
Yummy Stollen from Germany. Photo by Yulia Khlebnikova on Unsplash
In Italy, seafood is often served on Christmas Eve. Popular dishes include baccalà (a type of salted cod) and spaghetti with anchovies. One of the most popular Christmas traditions in Italy is the Feast of Seven Fishes. This tradition dates back to the Roman Catholic custom of not eating meat on certain days during Advent, which is the four weeks leading up to Christmas. The feast typically includes seven different types of seafood dishes, such as shrimp, squid, octopus, baccalà, and smelts.
There are so many traditional Christmas foods and recipes in the United Kingdom! One of the most popular Christmas dishes is roast beef which is often served with Yorkshire pudding (a type of savory dish made with flour, eggs, and milk) and gravy. Other popular dishes include mince pies (a type of fruit pie), and plum pudding as no Christmas dinner would be complete without a slice of Christmas pudding for dessert!
Europe plays an important role in the origin of Christmas so it is no wonder there are so many delicious Christmas traditions from around the continent - too many to write about! Don't worry, I will write a dedicated article about the Christmas food traditions throughout Europe.
Traditional Christmas foods from North America
The United States and Canada have their own unique Christmas food traditions. Both countries have a storied past and both have a large immigrant population from centuries of travelers settling in the countries. As a result, The United States and Canada have traditional Christmas foods and recipes from all over the world but with their little twists!
Christmas turkey from The United States
One of the most popular Christmas dishes in the United States is turkey. This tradition was brought over by the English settlers who arrived in North America in the 1600s. Turkey quickly became a popular Christmas dish because it was affordable and readily available.
Another popular Christmas dish in the United States is ham. This tradition is thought to have originated with German immigrants who settled in the United States in the 1800s. Ham is often glazed with a sticky sauce and gently cooked in the oven whilst being served with sweet potato casserole, green beans, and cranberry sauce.
Canadian Christmas foods and traditional recipes have two sides. As you can probably guess, the Western side of Canada is more of an "American" style and the Eastern side of the country has more of a "French" style. One of the most popular Christmas dishes is tourtière, originating from the province of Quebec, which is a type of meat pie that is traditionally made with pork or beef. Other popular Canadian Christmas dishes include plum pudding, candy canes, and gingerbread cookies.
Traditional Christmas foods from Asia
One of the most popular Christmas traditions in Japan is eating KFC. This tradition was started in 1974 by KFC Japan, and has since become a national phenomenon. Every year, millions of Japanese people order KFC for their Christmas dinner. The bucket meals are typically shared amongst family and friends, and often include sides such as mashed potatoes, corn on the cob, and green beans.
Christmas in Japan with Kentucky Fried Chicken
Some of the most popular traditional Christmas foods in Asia are mooncakes, which are small round cakes filled with lotus seed paste and sometimes a raw egg yolk. These cakes are eaten during the Mid-Autumn Festival, which falls on the 15th day of the 8th month of the Lunar calendar.
Christmas in the Philippines is a time for feasting! Some of the most popular dishes during this holiday season include lechon (a whole roasted pig), ham, queso de bola (a type of cheese wrapped in an edible wax), fruit salad, and traditional Filipino desserts such as bibingka (a type of rice cake) and puto bungbong (a type of steamed rice cake).
Some of the most popular traditional Christmas foods in China are dumplings, noodles, and rice cakes. Dumplings are usually made with a pork or beef filling and are served boiled or steamed. Noodles are often served with a meat or vegetable stir-fry, and rice cakes are often served sweetened with sugar or honey.
Traditionally, Christmas isn't a national holiday, although they have over 200 million Christians in the country, so their Christmas traditions and foods are very regional. However, the spirit of Christmas is spreading throughout the country at a fast pace!
Another popular Asian Christmas food is sushi. This dish has its origins in Japan but has become popular all over Asia. Sushi is often made with rice, fish, and vegetables and can be served either cooked or raw.
Christmas in Asia with Raw Salmon Sushi
Finally, another popular Asian Christmas food is biryani. This dish is originally from India but is now enjoyed all over Asia. Biryani is a type of rice dish that is usually made with meat, fish, or vegetables and spices.
Traditional Christmas foods from Africa
Christmas in Africa is often known was Kwanzaa and is a time for feasting on traditional foods such as roasted meats, stews, and rice dishes. One of the most popular Christmas dishes is fufu, which is a type of boiled dough made from Cassava or yams. Other popular African Christmas dishes include chicken stew, beef stew, and plantain chips.
Christmas is often known as Kwanzaa in Africa
In South Africa, one of the most popular Christmas dishes is called "walkie talkies." This dish is made with chicken feet, livers or hearts that are cooked until they are very tender. Then, they are chopped up and fried with onions, garlic, and green peppers. Other popular South African Christmas dishes include braai (barbecue), boerewors (a type of sausage), and Morongo (a type of spinach dish). All these dishes are about coming together and celebrating your loved ones!
Nigerian Christmas food is typically very spicy, as dishes are often made with chili peppers, ginger, and other spices. One of the most popular Nigerian Christmas dishes is called "red red," which is a type of stew made with beans, palm oil, and chili peppers. Other popular Nigerian Christmas dishes include Jollof rice (a type of rice dish), fried plantains, and roasted meats.
In Madagascar, one of the most popular Christmas dishes is called "romazava." This dish is a type of stew made with beef, tomatoes, green beans, and potatoes. Other popular Madagascar Christmas dishes include grilled chicken, fish curry, and coconut rice.
Finally, the Ivory Coast is known for its spice-laden Christmas dishes. One of the most popular dishes is called "attieke," which is a type of fermented cassava dish that is often served with grilled chicken or fish. Other popular Ivory Coast Christmas dishes include kedjenou (a type of stew), maafe (a type of peanut butter stew), and akara (a type of fried bean cake).
No matter what country you're in, there's sure to be some delicious Christmas food to enjoy throughout Africa!
Traditional Christmas foods from Australia and New Zealand
New Zealand and Australia celebrate Christmas in a very similar fashion, as they are both in the Southern Hemisphere, so it is summer when they celebrate Christmas. Both country's most popular traditional Christmas foods are pavlova, fruit mince pies, and plum pudding. Pavlova is a type of meringue dessert that is often topped with fruit and cream. Fruit mince pies are small pies that are made with a sweet filling of dried fruits, spices, and brandy or rum. Plum pudding is a type of steamed pudding that is made with dried fruits, nuts, and spices.
Pavlova in New Zealand and Australia at Christmas
In New Zealand, one of the most popular Christmas dishes is called "Pavlova." This dish is a type of meringue dessert that is often topped with fruit and cream. New Zealand has more sheep in the country than people so it is no wonder a roast leg of lamb is the favorite Christmas meal. Other popular New Zealand Christmas dishes include green shell mussels and Christmas cake.
In Australia, one of the most popular Christmas dishes is called "barramundi." This dish is a type of grilled or baked fish that is often served with a lemon and herb sauce. Other popular Australian Christmas dishes include roast turkey, ham, and shrimp on the bbq.
Both countries have a rich history of barbequing and enjoying the beach throughout summer and this does not stop for Christmas! So, whether you're in New Zealand or Australia, there's sure to be some delicious Christmas food to enjoy.
No matter where you are in the world, there is sure to be some delicious Christmas food to enjoy! Whether it's the traditional dishes from every continent around the globe, or something a little more unique, there's something for everyone to enjoy during this festive time of year. So make sure to try out some new recipes and enjoy spending time with your loved ones this holiday season!
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