Around the world in 15 Christmas meals

Around the world in 15 Christmas meals

Musement tours the table and compares 15 traditional Christmas dishes shared around the world.

It’s no question that discovering the gastronomic culture of a country is an integral part of any trip. Sometimes, sending our taste buds on a voyage is an excellent way to satisfy our wanderlust. We’ve already shared Christmas desserts from around the world, so this year, we decided to compile a list of 15 dishes typically enjoyed abroad during the Christmas season.

1. Iceland

Those with little knowledge of French or French cuisine might think that Hangikjöt comes from “gigot” or “animal thigh” in French. However, the word actually means “hung meat” in Icelandic — Hangikjöt is indeed a leg of boiled sheep or lamb that’s sliced and served with peas and béchamel potatoes.

2. Mexico

The staple of many Mexican festivals, tamales cornflour rolls twist-wrapped on both ends and steamed in corn or banana leaves. They can be garnished with meat or prepared vegetarian.

3. Sweden

Janssons frestelse almost sounds like the name of a storyteller but no, this is a potato and sprat gratin found on dinner tables in Sweden. This culinary specialty is also part of Finnish culture.

4. Portugal

As you might imagine, a Christmas table in Portugal wouldn’t be complete without salt cod. Bacalhau cozido is a dish made with cod, cabbage, potatoes and eggs, all boiled in water, a bit like the French aïoli without the garlic- and oil-based sauce. Delicious, light and healthy.

5. France

In the wake of controversies over the ex-stars of French holiday cuisine, foie gras and oysters, scallops are surely one magical Christmas ingredient that everyone in France can still agree on.

6. Ukraine

Ukrainians pull out all the stops when it comes time for Christmas dinner, serving twelve dishes to represent the 12 apostles. The first, <3m>kutia, is a boiled wheat pudding with honey, poppy seeds and nuts.

7. Brazil

Come Christmastime in Brazil, it’s your call whether the main course will include turkey or bacalhau, salted and dried codfish. In any case, one or the other is typically served with farofa temperada, a medley of cassava root with pineapple or raisins, black olives and bacon, among others, and salpicao, traditional chicken salad.

8. Japan

For a typical meal with atypical timing, visit Japan where, despite all the wonderful meals to be had, sharing a bucket of fried chicken at KFC has been a Christmas Eve custom since 1974 marketing campaign.

9. Canada

For Canadians at Christmas, the tourtière often finds a place on the dinner table. This is a rich and tasty meat pie that began in Quebec and spread to other provinces as well as New England.

10. Poland

As in Ukraine, it’s also a tradition to concoct 12 dishes for Christmas dinner in nearby Poland, all meat-free. A staple is barszczkarp w galarecie (jelly karp).

11. Italy

In Italy, holiday meals vary from one region to another. At the southern tip of the peninsula, for example, the New Year’s Eve meal is made up of dishes composed of fish: pasta with anchovies, spaghetti with clams, and in Naples, the famous capitone (eel!). In contrast, fresh pasta (cappelletti, tortellini and agnolini) is always on the Christmas table in Emilia-Romagna.

12. Germany

In Germany, the traditional Christmas roast is not turkey, capon or ham, but weihnachtsgans, or goose. Sometimes stuffed, this meal is almost always served with red cabbage and apples.

13. Peru

In Peru, it’s traditional to enjoy roasted pork, often suckling pig, as well as arroz arabe a traditional dish of rice, angel hair noodles and raisins often complemented by any other ingredients the cook wants to add.

14. Russia

A grand classic of Russian cuisine, unmistakable for the holidays, koulibiac is originally composed of layers of salmon, meat, eggs, mushrooms and rice, all wrapped in a puff pastry.

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Кто как, а я снова по рыбе🙃 … Вообще изначально я хотела опробовать новый рецепт #паннетоне (вдруг поинтереснее выйдет?), даже формочкой обзавелась под куличи. Уже собиралась заготавливать цукаты, как решила перечитать рецепт и обнаружила в нем…lievito madre. Если вкратце, то это закваска, которую у нас не продают, а квасится она недели 3. А уж учитывая мои натянутые взаимоотношения с хлебом…🙈 … В общем, паннетоне заменился на…кулебяку. Причем найденную во французском (!) журнале 😀 В конце концов, забавно находить русские названия на латинице. Только вдумайтесь – koulibiac🙈 … А кулебяка не традиционная, а очень даже праздничная. С красной рыбкой, рисом и яйцом, в слоеном тесте, которое, к слову, в этот раз не намокло, а осталось хрустящим😍 (Я к тому, что когда я пару лет назад делала salmon en croute, было куда хуже🙃). По-моему, очень даже имеющий право на жизнь вариант, особенно если поднадоела птица. Только учтите, что это оооочень сытно 😏 … Рецепт напишу, как только доберусь домой. А пока ❤ его и утащите в закладочки, потому что буду дублировать и сюда. Все ради вас!😊 … В поддержку нашего с @zel_cakes, @mykitchenrulez, @vladafoodfoto и @katerina_samoylova_ конкурса #вкус_рождества_2019, #вкусрождества_несладкое … #еда, #кулебяка, #рыба, #рис, #новыйгод, #новогоднееменю, #французскиежурналы, #вкусно, #мирдолжензнатьчтояем, #фудблог, #food, #foodblog, #vinegretteblog, #vinegrette_newyear, #newyear, #koulibiac, #fish, #rice, #puffpastry, #instafood

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15. Catalonia

Escudella i carn d’olla, or just Escudella, is a popular culinary specialty enjoyed by Catalonian families on December 25. Similar to the French pot-au-feu stew, it’s generally relished in two steps. Start with the escudella, or pasta typically stuffed with meatballs and soaked in a broth. After theescudella, you can proceed with the carn d’olla, or meat paired with beans and vegetables.

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