Around the world, Christmas is celebrated differently. Of course, Christmas food varies as well.
In Central Mexico, Christmas dinner is all about the family and sharing. Dishes may include romeritos con mole (seepweed with sauce), oven pork leg in a three-chili salsa, Christmas chipotles (smoked jalapenos) stuffed with cheese, cod, and fruit punch of the season. The celebrations last for three days and moreover include bringing food to friends’ houses.
Christmas Eve in Germany might be celebrated with simple meals such as sausages, potato salad, and sauerkraut, while others go all in with a traditional Christmas goose which is served with dumplings, red cabbage, gravy, and sometimes Brussels sprouts. In other families, these traditional Christmas dishes are served on the 25th of December. Stollen is a popular and traditional dessert – a rich cake with raisins or almonds.
In other parts of the world, desserts are rather light after the heavy mains. In South Africa, sorbets are popular after eating seasoned pork or lamb which was roasted in the oven.
The sweet bread loaf panettone is Italy’s most famous festive food. The traditionally cylindrical cake, which originates from Milan, has a yeast cake-base and contains candied orange, citron, lemon zest, and raisins. It is popular not only in Italy but also at the Horn of Africa and in South American countries, such as Peru, where it is known under the name ‘Panetón’.
In other parts of the world, the holidays are celebrated with a huge culinary variety. In Sweden, a ‘Julbord’, which is an umbrella term for the whole array of food, is prepared for Christmas dinner. It can include several types of meat and fish like ham, sausages, salmon, and köttbullar (meatballs), but also different breads and vegetables. The normally less experimental Swedish food gets quite inventive for the holidays through spices like cinnamon, cardamom, saffron, and cloves.
Some Eastern European nations prepare a meatless twelve-dish Christmas Eve supper in honour of the twelve Apostles or the twelve months of the year. A variety of vegetables, grains, and fish is served, and often poppy seeds are included, for example Lithuania has poppy milk. The meal does not start until the first star appears on the night sky.
Food always brings people together, so why not try something new for the upcoming holidays?