Christmas is the time for gifts, and, of course, enjoying food with family and friends! We all know that here in Australia some of us choose to struggle through a hot roast on Christmas Day, but just as many of us choose a cold spread - because who wants to cook any more than we have to during a sweltering Aussie summer?
While prawns and a BBQ might be unique here in Aus, if you take a look around the world, there are many countries with festive mouth-watering treats that are usually reserved for this joyous occasion. These Christmas goodies are rife with tradition and sometimes even come with a special meaning.
Want the perfect Christmas feast this year? Of course, we receommend a Random Harvest Gourmet Christmas Hamper, but let’s have a bit of fun and take a look at some of the unique Christmas food traditions around the world.
Christmas Food Traditions In The Czech Republic
Just like most Europeans, Czechs eat their Christmas dinner on December 24. However, instead of the usual turkey, their traditional Christmas meal consists of breaded carp, potato salad, and sometimes homemade tartar sauce as a condiment. This dish has a dual status for the Czech since it’s also their quintessential comfort food.
Greenland Christmas Food Traditions
Greenland is home to some of the more unique foods for Christmas. Mattak is sliced whale skin with blubber. Though originally served raw, they can also be breaded or pickled. It can be too tough to chew, so it’s usually swallowed whole.
Their other local delicacy requires an even more adventurous palate. Called kiviak, whole auks, beak and feathers included, are sewn up inside seal skin and sealed with seal fat to repel flies. It is then left to ferment under a heap of stones for three months.
French Christmas Food Traditions
The centrepiece of a Christmas dining table in France is the yuletide log. Traditionally made with sponge cake and chocolate icing, you’ll also find different variations like peanut butter, caramel, chestnut, and tiramisu. Of course, the more it looks like a log, the better!
Christmas Food Traditions From Poland
Poland’s Christmas eve traditions combine both ancient pagan customs and religious ones. Dinner typically lasts a couple of hours and includes 12 dishes and desserts, all of which guests should taste. The 12 dishes are in honour of the 12 apostles and are representations of the 12 months.
The most popular Christmas dish is barszcz, a red soup made of beets and served with pierogi.
Denmark's Traditional Christmas Foods
The Ris á la mande is Denmark’s favourite Christmas dessert. Milk, rice, almonds, vanilla and whipped cream are used to make this rice pudding. What makes it so fun? Well, those who eat the rice puddings with a whole almond hidden get extra Christmas gifts!
How About Christmas Food In China?
Christmas, which has roots in western Christianity, wasn’t originally celebrated in China. However, younger generations have adopted this joyous holiday. They even came up with a new tradition which is to gift loved ones with apples wrapped in brightly colored paper.
But, why apples? The Chinese words for Christmas Eve (Ping An Ye) and apple (Ping Guo) sound alike so they’ve become associated.' Also known as peace apples, it’s their way of sending wishes for good health.