Germany is said to have started the tradition of celebrating Christmas with a tree. The most popular foods were vegetable stews and fish or meat delicacies.
While some countries still follow similar traditions, others have created their own special ways to celebrate this holiday.
For example, some countries associate Christmas with purple rice cakes and others cannot have it without Brussels sprouts.
Bright Side invites you on a food journey around the world to discover the most interesting culinary traditions. Time to fasten your seat belts!
Japan — Toshikoshi soba
Ōmisoka, or New Year’s Eve, is a special time for Japanese people as they reflect on their past at this time and prepare for the year ahead.
At this time, the traditional dish of delicious buckwheat noodles, called pasta, is eaten throughout the year.
Soba is easy to cut with chopsticks, so it symbolizes the custom of letting go of the hardships of the year.
Denmark — Risalamande
Its base is soft rice pudding mixed with chopped almonds and vanilla whipped cream. To give it more flavor and color, they are decorated with cherry sauce.
It is usually served during dinner, after the main course.
Greenland – Mattak
Greenlanders call this unusual delicacy mattak, but it can also be called muktuk. It is made from Chinese whales, beluga whales, or narwhal and is generally eaten raw.
It’s very oily, it tastes nutty, and it’s packed with vitamin C!
The Philippines — Puto bumbóng
This is a very popular Christmas dessert, usually served in the morning. It is made from a special type of glutinous rice that is deep purple in color.
After preparation, it is placed in bamboo tubes, steamed, and served over banana leaves.
Sweden — Jansson’s temptation
The traditional casserole, known as Janssons frestelse in Swedish, is an absolute hit on Christmas Eve in Sweden.
It’s made from layered potatoes, anchovies (or sprats), onions, breadcrumbs, and sour cream.
France — Escargots
The name of the dish literally means “edible snail” and it has become one of the most iconic French dishes.
At Christmas, they are usually served as a starter, topped with garlic butter and parsley.
The Netherlands — Oliebollen
It’s hard to imagine a vacation in the Netherlands without this popular snack. Its name can be literally translated as “oil balls“.
To make them, a dough shell is placed in hot oil before frying and serving with a layer of sugar.
People of different cultures appreciate this dish which consists of ground beef wrapped in cabbage.
Poles serve them drenched in tomato sauce during the main Christmas dish.
China — Eight-Treasure Rice
The dish consists of glutinous rice with a combination of 8 fruits that, as the Chinese believe, provide good health.
They are called treasures and generally consist of dried red dates, lotus seeds, plums, winter melon, dried longan, red bean paste, various beans, and nuts.
Which of these dishes would you like to try? What other interesting foods are served during the winter holidays in your country?