Around the world during Christmas Eve and Christmas, people dive into all sorts of weird and wonderful festive dishes. Traditions vary from country to country and we collected some of the most significant and famous ones.
Christmas or plum pudding is the long tradition of United Kingdom, dating from 14th century. Traditionally, every member of the household stirs the pudding, while making a wish. Before you eat it, the brandy is poured over it and dish lit up to make a perfect sparkly holiday feeling. For 25 million people who celebrate Christmas in Indonesia, the most popular dish is “dodol”. It is a sweet sticky rice cake obligatory on family tables.
On the other side of the world, in Argentina, locals dine “vitel toné” or veal in tuna sauce. This dish comes from the Italian immigrants that came to Argentina in the late 1800s and it is a platter of sliced veal covered in a tuna sauce and capers.
Brazilians eat turkey on Christmas Eve, but not in the traditional North American style. Along with turkey, they serve rice, Brazil nuts, and a variety of fruit. Turkey feast also comes with a marinade made from champagne and spices. At midnight on Christmas Eve, Filipino Christians dine on massive whole suckling pigs, often featuring a bright yellow ball of cheese in its mouth. Christians in India celebrate the holiday by eating traditional biryani, or curry, dishes. To end the meal, they often eat “kheer” – a sweet and milky pudding.
Egyptian Christians keep vegan on the three days before Christmas. The main staple during this time is “kushari” – macaroni, rice, and lentils dish, which is topped with tomato-vinegar sauce. Since it is summer in Australia, they love to have their Christmas bar- beque, cooking turkey and lamb. They also eat grilled prawns in a longstanding tradition called “shrimp on the barbie.”
In Canada, people eat the oddly named “Chicken Bones” candy, cinnamon candy-colored pink and stuffed with a chocolate filling.
In Sweden more is more when it comes to the Swedish julbord, or “Christmas table”. The centrepiece is a Christmas ham, boiled and glazed with eggs, breadcrumbs and mustard. The Portuguese are famous for their dried and salted cod, and Christmas wouldn’t be complete without a traditional plate of the fish, along with cabbage, eggs, and boiled potatoes. France also serves seafood for Christ- mas and the most famous dish is Coquilles Saint-Jacques -scallops with herbs and cheese, served in little shells as an appetiser.
Italians celebrate Christmas by making a meal they call the “Feast of Seven Fishes,” which features many different seafood dishes, like calamari, cod, anchovies, and clam linguine. Their neighbours Croatians eat “pašticada” for Christmas – the stewed beef dish cooked in special sauce stuffed with garlic, cloves, carrot and bacon, then salted and marinated in vinegar.
In Spain, they have most amazing stuffing for the turkey – truffles!■