Christmas Foods From Around The World: Part One
Ever wonder what other countries are chowing down on this Christmas? Do they stick to the Canadian favourite turkey, stuffing, and gravy?
Here at Ferratum, we have expanded our operations to 25 countries since forming in 2005. So, we decided to highlight some of the Christmas foods consumed in each country we operate in.
From Australia to Croatia, Denmark to Latvia, and add a little Brazil into the mix, here’s part one of your Christmas cultural tour of delicacies:
Christmas in Australia is celebrated on December 25th and Christmas traditions stem from the British settlement in the 18th century.
A Christmas day lunch or dinner consists of roast lamb, turkey or other poultry with stuffing, roasted potatoes, gravy, and roasted vegetables. Other Christmas treats include Christmas plum pudding, tarts, and shortbread.
Since it's summertime in the southern hemisphere during Christmas, it's become more popular in the past few decades for Australians to celebrate with a Christmas BBQ.
Brazil's population is a mix of cultures from many countries, and this can be seen in the selection of Christmas foods. The main meal is served late at night on December 24th.
A traditional Christmas dinner can consist of pork, turkey, pork, ham, and salads served with rice flavoured with raisin and walnuts. A popular side dish is Maionese, a potato salad with apples and raisins.
Christmas desserts include tropical fruits and ice cream. Another favourite is Rabanada, a type of French toast soaked in custard and lightly fried with cinnamon sugar.
The celebration of Christmas begins on 24th of December with a meal consisting of a large number of odd-numbered dishes (e.g. 5, 9, 11 etc.). The meal is completely vegetarian and is made up of bean soups, sweet and savoury pastries, cabbage leaves stuffed with rice, vegetables, and plenty of fruits and nuts (walnuts being especially important).
A loaf of bread called pita which is baked with a lucky coin inside is another Bulgarian Christmas tradition.
While Christmas Eve may be vegetarian, on the 25th of December, dinner is centered around meat, often pork.
In English speaking Canada, a traditional Christmas meal is a mix between traditional English and traditional US. Christmas is celebrated on December 25th, and a traditional dinner consists of turkey with stuffing, vegetables, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce.
Traditional Christmas dinner for French-Canadians, on the other hand, is a stew called Ragoût aux pattes de cochons made from pigs feet or tourtière which consists of ground, minced, or cubed pork or beef in a piecrust served with ketchup or relish.
Like several Central and Eastern European countries, on Christmas Eve, Croatians abstain from eating red meat. Therefore, bakalar (dried-cod) and other types of fish are consumed as the main meal.
On Christmas Day, goose, turkey, or duck is the meal served with poppyseed rolls, stuffed cabbage rolls filled with minced pork meat, and fig cake. Cookies and cakes are also popular treats, especially krafne filled with jam, jelly, marmalade or chocolate.
Christmas dinner in the Czech Republic is eaten during the evening of December 24th. A traditional Christmas meal is made up of carp soup, fried carp, and potato salad.
Other Czech Christmas foods include the delicous palačinky, which are similar to French crêpes and can be sweet or savoury. You can find fruit fillings like strawberry or apricot, as well as ham and cheese or spinach and garlic. Grilled sausages, Klobása, are very popular, as is Pražská Šunka (smoked Prague ham).
Strudel, gingerbread and other Christmas cookies, and the scrumptious vánočka (a braided cake made from sweet white dough with raisins and almonds) are also Christmas staples.
Like all other Nordic countries, in Denmark, the traditional Christmas meal is served on December 24th. The main meal consists of roasted pork, goose or duck served with potatoes, red cabbage, and gravy. Rice pudding is a popular dessert.
Of course, Danish butter cookies such as vaniljekranse are a Christmas essential. These ever-popular cookies have made themselves part of the Christmas tradition in many other countries all over the world and make for popular gifts presented in tins.
Traditional Estonian Christmas food includes verivorst (blood sausage), sült (jellied head cheese), hapukapsas (sauerkraut), and pork, served with roasted potatoes and is eaten as the main meal on Christmas Eve.
Christmas breads such as gingerbread are baked and enjoyed as treats.
A traditional Finnish Christmas is a feast. More of a buffet than a two or three course meal, a Christmas table called Joulupöytä contains many different dishes often centered around a large Christmas ham eaten with mustard and bread.
Other items include various fish dishes, casseroles with liver and raisins, potatoes, rice, and carrots.
Celebrated on Christmas Eve, a long dinner known as réveillon is the tradition in France where dishes such as chestnut-stuffed turkey, foie gras (goose or duck liver), oysters, smoked salmon, roast duck, can all be found.
No Christmas in France would be complete without the dessert Bûche de Noël, a cream log cake available in different flavours such as chocolate and hazelnut.
Celebrated on Christmas Eve, sausages, such as such as Wiener, Bockwurst, or Knacker, are served with potato salad and grünkohl (kale) cooked in stock with cream and spices, are all main meal Christmas essentials.
Karpfen (carp) and gänsebraten (roast goose) are also popular choices served with red cabbage and the early mentioned grünkohl.
When it comes to traditional Christmas treats, Germany has many traditions which have become Christmas staples across the world. These include Pfefferkuchen (pepper cake) or Honigkuchen (honey cake), Lebkuchen (gingerbread), Spekulatius (spiced cookies), and of course, Stollen (fruit cake with marzipan, almonds, dried fruit).
A traditional Latvian Christmas consists of twelve dishes (though this number has changed in modern times). Dishes include pig snout, cooked brown/grey peas with pork sauce, cabbage & sausage, bacon pies, herring with beets, carrots, or apples, and Aspic which is a savoury jelly made with meat served with mayonnaise, horseradish or vinegar.
Gingerbread cookies and traditional Kūčiukai pastries or cookies are popular sweets.
Did we miss anything? Was there a holiday favourite we forgot to add? Be sure to read part two of your Christmas culinary tour of the world.