As the holiday season approaches, many of us eagerly anticipate the traditional Christmas feast with turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce. However, Christmas dinner varies widely across the globe, with each country adding its unique flavors and culinary traditions to the festive table. In this blog post, we'll take a virtual journey around the world to explore what other countries serve for their Christmas dinners, offering a glimpse into the diverse and delicious ways people celebrate this joyous occasion.
United Kingdom: Roast Turkey with all the Trimmings
In the United Kingdom, a classic roast turkey takes center stage, accompanied by stuffing, roast potatoes, Brussels sprouts, carrots, and the indispensable Yorkshire pudding. Christmas pudding, a rich and fruity dessert, often concludes the meal, and minced pies are served throughout the season.
Italy: Feast of Seven Fishes
Italians celebrate Christmas Eve with the Feast of Seven Fishes, a seafood extravaganza featuring dishes like baccalà (salted cod), calamari, and various types of shellfish. The menu varies by region, but the emphasis on seafood remains a common theme.
Sweden: Smörgåsbord Extravaganza
In Sweden, the Christmas smörgåsbord, known as "Julbord," offers an array of dishes such as pickled herring, gravlax (cured salmon), meatballs, and sausages. It's a festive buffet that combines traditional and modern Swedish delights.
Japan: KFC Christmas
In Japan, Christmas is celebrated with a unique twist – a bucket of fried chicken from KFC. This unusual tradition, known as "Kurisumasu ni wa Kentakkii" (Kentucky for Christmas), has become popular, with many Japanese families pre-ordering their fried chicken months in advance.
Australia: Seafood on the Barbie
Given the warm weather in Australia during Christmas, a festive barbecue, or "Barbie," is a common way to celebrate. Australians often enjoy seafood, including prawns and lobster, alongside grilled meats and fresh salads.
Mexico: Tamales and Bacalao
In Mexico, Christmas dinner may include tamales, a traditional masa (corn dough) dish filled with various savory or sweet ingredients. Bacalao (salted cod) is another Christmas staple, often prepared with tomatoes, olives, and capers.
Ethiopia: Doro Wat and Injera
In Ethiopia, Christmas, known as "Genna," is celebrated with a special feast featuring Doro Wat, a spicy chicken stew, and injera, a sourdough flatbread. This communal meal brings families and friends together to share the season's joy.
As we explore the diverse Christmas dinners worldwide, it's evident that the holiday spirit is not confined to a particular set of dishes. Whether it's a seafood extravaganza in Italy, a barbecue on the beach in Australia, or a bucket of fried chicken in Japan, the common thread is the joy of sharing a special meal with loved ones during this festive season. So, as you prepare to savor your traditional Christmas dinner, take a moment to appreciate the global tapestry of flavors that make this holiday truly unique.