It’s a few weeks to Christmas. You’ve started buying presents, helped put up the tree and are counting down until your holidays. We thought we’d take you on a tour and show you different festive food and traditions from around the world.
Ireland: Christmas cake. At Christmas, we Irish people dress the humble fruit-cake in a coat of icing to make it more decadent. Legend has it that only ten Christmas cakes actually exist. Aunty Nora made them years ago. They been passed around from person to person ever since. The former staple is favoured by older people. It is still seen as a must-have item in many Irish households at Christmas. See also: Christmas pudding
UK: The Brits are partial to Christmas pudding. It is similar to Christmas cake without the icing. They up the ante by pouring brandy butter on top and lighting it on fire. They are also the inventors of Christmas Tinner. Feast your eyes on Christmas dinner, in a tin. This travesty was designed for gamers so they could enjoy a full Christmas dinner, without wasting time cooking. The layers include turkey, carrots and potatoes so you get your meat and two veg. It also has layers of mince pies, so you don’t miss out on dessert. The disgusting congealed mess is reminiscent of the trifle/mince pie from Friends.
Australians: The rumours are true, many Australians celebrate Christmas on the beach with a barbecue turkey. It is their summer so the weather is generally fantastic. They still enjoy a White Christmas in the form of cake. It is a mixture of raisins, coconut and cherries and is usually served with champagne.
Germany: Christmas dinner in Germany is similar to the UK and Ireland. They serve goose instead of turkey and stollen instead of Christmas cake.
Greenland: While you’re sitting down after dinner, with stomach swollen from too much turkey, spare a thought for your Greenland brethren. In Greenland, the tradition is for men to serve women on Christmas day.
Japan: You may want to book a flight after this section. In Japan people who celebrate Christmas eat KFC. Not many people celebrate Christmas in Japan so it is a novelty. KFC capitalised on this with marketing campaigns, and now Christmas in Japan is synonymous with KFC.
Portugal: In case you didn’t know the Portuguese have a fairly serious addiction to fish. So much so that they even 1,000 recipes for bacalhau (codfish). On Christmas day they stick to what they know and love best, codfish and potatoes.
France: In Provence they serve a dessert called lei tretze dessèrts or the thirteen desserts. The desserts which include biscuits, fruit and nuts and is as indulgent as it sounds. The thirteen deserts represent Jesus and his twelve apostles.
Mexico: In Mexico families usually eat a stew called pozole. It is made with pork and usually has cabbage, chile peppers and avocados added in.
Canada: Canada is home to many different festive foods. One of the most mouthwatering is called French-Canadian Tourtière
It is a classic French-Canadian meat pie that is often made with pork and potato. The double-crust pastry is usually made with lard instead of butter, for an extra filling Christmas meal.
Philippines: The Philippines is home to some of the most delicious Christmas foods in the world. Cebu Lechon is widely accepted as the best. It is a spiced type of lechon, with lemon-grass, garlic, lots of salt and sometimes with bullet peppers for that added layer of heat to intensify the flavour. Because of its savoriness and spice, it is best served with soy sauce and vinegar. It was once described as “the best pork dish in the world” by Anthony Bourdain. Other Filipino delicacies include puto, pancit malabon.
I hope this gives you food for thought while tucking into your dinner, whether it be turkey, fish or KFC.
Happy holidays everyone!