Christmas is without a doubt, the most wonderful time of the year. The lights, the decorations, the presents, but most of all, the food. And as Christmas is celebrated in many countries worldwide, the variety of dishes for the biggest holiday of the year is abundant.
Here are 20 countries with 20 different specialty Christmas for you to add to your Yuletide feast!
20 Heavenly Christmas Dishes from All Over The World
1. France: bûche de Noël
Ask any French what their iconic Christmas dessert is, and you will get the same answer: bûche de Noël or Yule Log. This holiday treat is made by rolling baked and cooled genoise around a buttercream frosting and then decorated to resemble a log. This favorite usually disappears in minutes!
2. Mexico: Tamales
Tamales are a traditional Mexican dish made to offer to deities. It is made with corn based dough filled with meat, beans or cheese. Tamales are wrapped and cooked in corn husks or banana leaves, giving it its iconic yellow color.
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3. Italy: Risotto alla pescatora
It’s the tradition in Italian-American households to celebrate Feast of the Seven Fishes on Christmas Eve. As the name suggests, the tradition involves family gathering to feast on different kinds of fish prepared in seven ways.
A very well loved name among these fish dishes is the Risotto alla pescatora. For this dish, clams, mussels, calamari, shrimp and prawns are added to balance the flavor of the shellfish.
4. Venezuela: Hallacas
Looking a bit similar to the Mexican dish we mentioned above, this Venezuela staple is also made with corn dough and wrapped in maize and plantain leaves. But the similarity stops there as the fillings for these packages include: capers, raisins, peppers, and various meats.
5. Russia: Zakuski
The sour and salty flavors of these appetizers actually makes it a perfect companion with vodka. In truth, they can be served as a course on its own or “intended to follow each shot of vodka or another alcoholic drink.” The word Zakuski literally means something to bite after.
6. Brazil: Ceia de Natal
Blended with marinade made from champagne and spices, this Brazilian turkey dish can never disappoint.
7. Austria: Sachertorte
Sachertorte is a worldwide famous dessert, but did you know that it was invented by a 16-year-old in Vienna. This chocolate and apricot jam sponge cake is decadent and packed full of flavors.
8. Ethiopia: Doro Wat on Injera
Doro Wat is one of the most famous African dishes. This dish is extremely spicy, which may faze some faint hearts. Traditionally Doro Wat is served with an Ethiopian flatbread called injera. This flatbread is made with teff flour and is fermented up to 4 days before use.
9. Germany: Stollen
This fruit cake with dried fruit and marzipan is a staple in a German household during Christmas. Dusted with icing, this impressive bake is usually eaten during the Christmas season in Germany when it is called ‘Weihnachtsstollen’ or ‘Christstollen’.
10. Malta: Imbuljuta tal-Qastan
Imbuljuta tal-Qastan is a traditional Maltese drink, blended with cocoa, chestnuts, and spices like cinnamon and clove. It is traditionally enjoyed during Christmas and New Year’s Eve.
11. Finland: Porkkanalaatikko
This spiced carrot casserole is Finland’s answer to American Thanksgiving sweet potatoes. The main ingredients are carrots, mixed with boiled rice or barley, and liquid (which may be carrot, milk or cream)
12. Denmark: Ris á la mande
Traditionally made with milk, rice, almonds, vanilla and whipped cream, this rice pudding treat is well loved by the Dain on Christmas Day. What makes it even more special is that a whole almond is hidden in the rice pudding and whoever finds it gets a present!
13. Spain: Turrón
On Christmas Day, the Spanish enjoy Nougat or ‘Turrón’. This traditional dessert is a splendid mixture of honey, sugar, egg whites and almonds that will surely make your Christmas Day extra sweet.
14. Greece: Chicken Soup Avgolemono
Avgolemono is served as a first course at a Christmas feast. This creamy and lemony concoction is made with shredded chicken, rice, lemon and egg. The name itself Avgolemono means egg-lemon, this dish promises comfort and warmth during the cold weather.
15. Sweden: Julbord
The biggest Swedish feast of the year, which of course happens around Christmas, is called a ‘Julbord’. It is a buffet including cold fish, cold meats, cheese, pickles and more. The main event of this feast is the Christmas ham also known as ‘Julskinka’ which is made by boiling the cut and roasting in the oven until crisp.
16. Ireland: Yule meal
Christmas meal in Iceland, or Yule meal, as they call it, can’t be completed without a leg of roast lamb placed at the center of the table.
17. Poland: Borscht
Beetroot soup or ‘Borscht’ is served as a traditional starter around Christmas time in Poland. It can be served hot or cold and is usually served on Christmas Eve.
18. Japan: KFC!
The year was 1974 and KFC was having a huge success with their Christmas campaign in Japan. And ever since, the finger-licking-good fried chicken has become a must-have during Christmas for the Japanese.
19. New Zealand: Pavlova
The star of the show in a New Zealander Christmas dinner is actually the dessert. The Kiwis are known for their great desserts, among them is the classic pavlova topped with cream and heaps of fresh berries.
20. Ukraine: Kutia
Kutia or kutya is a ceremonial grain dish with sweet gravy traditionally served by Eastern Orthodox Christians in Ukraine, Belarus and Russia during the Christmas period.
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