Just like Christmas traditions in general, Christmas dinners vary from culture to culture. So while you may be tucking into a ham or turkey, here are 5 other Christmas dinners from around the world. Food for thought.
5) Eastern Europe
In Poland, Ukraine and Lithuania, 12 meatless dishes – symbolizing the 12 apostles – are served on Christmas Eve. Borscht, Pierogies and stuffed dumplings are all popular. In a sign of respect for deceased relatives, many people choose to set a place and even serve food for them. Meanwhile in the Czech Republic, Christmas dinner traditionally consists of fried carp and potato salad.
Like Eastern Europe many people in Iceland practice a fast before Christmas Eve, with no meat allowed. Traditionally on December 23rd boiled potatoes are served alongside skate – a pungent fish. On Christmas Eve, meat is back on the menu. Whereas in Canada we like to imagine reindeer prancing on the roof with Santa, in Iceland reindeer end up on the dinner table, along with puffin.
Christmas isn’t a stat holiday in Japan but that doesn’t mean that the Japanese don’t have their own traditional Christmas dinner: fried chicken – or more specifically, KFC. A hugely successful marketing campaign in the 1970’s forever tied the colonel to Christmas in Japan with the slogan, “Kentucky for Christmas”.
2) Latin America
In Latin America Christmas dinner can be a spicy affair. Stews, fish and spicy tamales are all on the menu in Mexico along with the candy from a pinata. In Peru, like Canada and the United States, turkey is the preferred Christmas dish, along with hot chocolate.
German Christmas dinner is renowned for its sweets: gingerbread, spiced biscuits and stollen (a sweet loaf). Goose or pork usually makes up the main course, alongside a healthy serving of cabbage. In France, one of the culinary capitals of the world, Christmas dinner often includes pate, oysters, salmon or goose. In Italy abstaining from meat is common before Christmas, but on the big day everything including pasta, cured meats, and cakebread is available. In Spain the main meal is on Christmas Eve and is full of sweet dishes and pastries.
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