Try These Traditional Christmas Foods from Around the World

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international Christmas food

While traditions can be more comforting than a mug of hot cocoa on a blustery winter day, re-creating the same meal every Christmas can get a little bland. So why not shake up your yuletide menu with some recipes from across the globe? Although some Christmas standbys like ham and fruitcake transcend international borders, we went searching for dishes that would add unique and festive twists to your holiday feast. Come along for the ride as we take a tour of traditional Christmas foods from around the world (no passport required).

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Tamales

Christmas tamales

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Tamales arent exclusively served at Christmastime, but they tend to be reserved for special occasions due to the time and effort required to wrap each one by hand. If youre feeling ambitious, or if you can get some buddies on board for a tamalada (tamal-making party), try your hand at these staples of the Mexican Noche Buena (Christmas Eve). Get Grandma Salazars Tamales recipe.

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Pan de Jamn

international Christmas food

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A variation of tamales known as hallacas can also be found at La Cea Navidea in Venezuela. As for the porcine portion of the meal, dont expect to see a honey baked ham. In fact, while you might initially mistake pan de jamn for a plain loaf of bread, inside, youll discover a sweet and savory spiral of ham, raisins, and olives. Get the Pan de Jamn recipe.

Pernil

pernil recipe

Andrew Bui

Pork is big in Puerto Rico too, in the form of a crisp-skinned roasted pork shoulder called pernil. Seasoned with garlic, lime juice, adobo, and other seasonings, its a delicious hunk of meat to feed a crowd for Christmas. Get the Pernil recipe.

Risalamande


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The Danish enjoy a dessert of cold rice pudding topped with whipped cream, vanilla almonds, and hot fruit sauce. But theres more to this tradition than taste alone. Similar to a baby figurine in a Mardi Gras king cake, one peeled almond is hidden somewhere in the pudding bowl. Whoever finds it wins a mandelgave (almond present). Get the Risalamande recipe.

Torrone


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Everybody knows fruitcakes Italian cousin panettone. But if you want to introduce party guests to a different Italian dessert, whip up torrone, a nougat candy made with sugar and/or honey, egg whites, and nuts. In Spain, it goes by turrn. Get the Torrone recipe.

Related Reading:Eating Your Christmas Tree: How to Cook with Pine Needles

Bacalhau de Consoada


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Cod is a constant on Portuguese menus, and the holidays are no exception. The traditional Christmas preparation is a simple one that involves boiling the fish with potatoes, cabbage, and eggs. The next day, do as the Portuguese do and make roupa velha (old clothes or dirty laundry) by mixing leftover shredded cod with garlic and olive oil. Get the Bacalhau de Consoada recipe.

Kapustnica


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Jedu na polvkov vln a tentokrt dolo na zelaku. Ovem s jednm vznamnm bonusem! 5 PORC: Do misky dejte hrst suench hub a zalijte je vrouc vodou. Nechte stranou nabobtnat. V hrnci rozehejte 2 lce peputnho msla. Pihote 50 g uzen slaniny na kostiky, 1 noiku oblben klobsy na plkoleka a 1 velkou cibuli nahrubo. Kdy je ve hezky opeen, pidejte 1 liku drcenho kmnu, 2 lce uzen papriky a 3 bobkov listy. Krtce zarestujte a zasypte 2 plnmi lcemi hladk mouky. Minutu mchejte, pak zalijte 500 ml vlan vody a rozmchejte dohladka metlikou. Pot pilijte 700 ml hork vody, pidejte houby i s nlevem, 1 velkou mrkev na plkoleka a 3 brambory na kostky. Osolte, opepete a vate 15 minut, a brambory zmknou. Pot pidejte 500 g pekrjenho kysanho zel a vate jet 10 minut. Nakonec zalehejte kelmek zakysan smetany a hrst hladkolist petrele. Zelaka je hotov a vborn sama o sob, ale kdy do n na tali pidte plnou lci pekrjenho KIMCHI, je to jako KOUZLO!!! Stran dobr . . #sklarouvkuchyni #polevka #zelnacka #zelnapolevka #kapustnica #kimchi #nazahrati #novyrecept #vkuchyni #dobrejedlo #dobrejio #dobrota #varimeslaskou #fermentace

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Fish also plays a major role in Slovak celebrations, where tradition calls for families to acquire a live carp a few days before Christmas. There are several explanations as to how this custom began, mostly relating to the cleaning and preservation of the fish. Regardless of the reason behind the ritual, the story ends the same waywith a breaded or fried filet on Christmas Eve. Alongside fish, its common to see kapustnica, a sauerkraut soup with mushrooms, meats, onion, garlic, and spices. Many family recipes also mix in apples and plums for some added sweetness. Get the Kapustnica recipe.

Luwombo


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If you were to find yourself in Uganda for a Dec. 25 Sekukulu celebration, you might just be treated to luwomboa dish of seasoned chicken wrapped in banana leaves and steamed with whole bananas. Get the Luwombo recipe.

Jollof Rice


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Like tamales in Mexico, jollof rice makes an appearance at many West African occasions and gatherings, not just Christmas. This blend of rice, tomatoes, peppers, and spices is popular for parties because its a crowd pleaser that only requires one pot to prepare. Get the Jollof Rice recipe.

Sochivo


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Dreading the post-holiday January blues? Celebrate Christmas again with the Orthodox Christians on Jan. 7! Get things started the night before with a bowl of Russian sochivo (also known as kutya) a wheat porridge with poppy seeds, walnuts, and honey. Get the Sochivo recipe.

Bibingka


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In the Philippines, Simbang Gabi is a series of nine dawn masseseach one starting as early as 4 a.m.beginning on Dec. 16. As congregants pour out of churches at breakfast-time, theyre likely to encounter vendors selling two rice and coconut-based treats: puto bumbong and bibingka. Get the Bibingka recipe.

Pavlova


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Since Christmas falls during summertime in the Southern Hemisphere, prawns are common figures at yuletide barbies Down Under. As for dessert, Australians love their pavlova. Nicknamed pav for short, it consists of meringue cakes smothered in cream and crowned with seasonal fruits like passionfruit, strawberries, and kiwi. Get the Pavlova recipe.

Cola de Mono


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COLA DE MONO La cola de mono es una bebida a base de leche ,caf que se toma bien fra en fiestas de fin de ao Me pidieron mucho esta receta y qued DELICIOSA Para ver cmo se hace esta receta tienes que hacer doble clic sobre la foto y luego deslizar tu dedo hacia la izquierda para ver los videos Ingredientes Una taza de agua 10 clavos de olor @gourmetchile 2 ramas de canela @gourmetchile 17 gr o 4 cucharadas de caf 300 g o una taza y un cuarto de azcar 400 cc de aguardiente 2 litros de leche @colunchile Un cuarto cucharadita de jengibre @gourmetchile 1 cucharada de esencia de vainilla @gourmetchile Para conservar la cola de mono tiene que estar dentro del refrigerador y te dura como dos semanas #colun #colademono #cocinachilena

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The weather is similarly hot in Chile, where locals enjoy a cool twist on eggnog called cola de mono. Literally translated, the name means monkeys tail and comes with a handful of possible origin stories that you and your guests can entertain. While we cant say which one is true, we can guarantee that this blend of milk, coffee, cinnamon, and brandy will cool things right down if the family dinner table conversation gets heated! Get the Cola de Mono recipe.

With that, wed like to raise a figurative glass of cola de mono and propose a holiday toast to you and your kin. No matter where youre from, how you celebrate, or what language you speak, we wish you a happy holiday season full of friends and family and equally full bellies.

Related Video: This Is How Christmas Is Done in Cuba


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