Christmas food traditions around the world

Christmas food traditions

Depending on where you live and the religion you observe your Christmas dinner will look very different! You are probably familiar with the American large roast turkey with sides of stuffing and potatoes, as it’s commonly depicted in Hollywood movies, however, the Christmas menu looks very different depending on where you are in the world. Here are five Christmas food traditions you may not have heard about before:

1. Norway

If you’re invited to a very traditional Norwegian Christmas dinner, be prepared to see a whole steamed sheep’s head at the center of the table. If you’re squeamish you may want to skip the main course!

2. Japan

If you’re in Japan for Christmas remember to pre-order your KFC Christmas party bucket (they often sell out 2 months in advance, so get your orders in early!). While this may seem like an odd Christmas tradition it’s enjoyed by millions of Japanese people every year. The first KFC branch opened in Japan in 1970 and started selling a Christmas bucket based on the traditional American Christmas meal, which became extremely popular very quickly! Not only do you get finger-lickin’ fried chicken in your bucket you also get a Christmas cake!

3. Costa Rica

Although tamales are eaten year-round now in Costa Rica, they were originally only made at Christmas! Each family has their own, often secret, recipe but basic tamales consist of ground corn, pork, carrots, rice, and sweet pepper. You’ll also find homemade eggnog to sip on, which you might be a little more familiar with!

4. Greenland

Greenland has two very unique dishes you probably haven’t tried before: whale meat and reindeer meat. Mattak, strips of whale blubber wrapped in whale skin, is a dish you’ll most certainly find on the Christmas menu in Greenland. Apparently, it’s very chewy so come ready to munch!

image courtesy of Wikipedia

5. The Philippines 

Christmas dinner, known as Noche Buena in the Philippines, is often centered around their famous dish, Lechon. Lechon is slow spit-roasted pig that is a must-try if you visit the Philippines. If you have a sweet tooth then you’ll want to try puto bumbong, a mixture of sweet white and black rice that is steamed and then served with butter and desiccated coconut. You’ll want to make room for a feast if you’re planning on eating Christmas dinner in the Philippines!

image courtesy of Serious Eats

No matter where you’re from if you celebrate Christmas one of the highlights is the food! What are your Christmas food traditions where you’re from? Let us know in the comments below.

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