Christmas food around the world
It is almost that time when you have to start thinking about cooking Christmas dinner again. You know what this entails: fighting over a turkey at the supermarket, discovering that you need to cleave through its legs to fit it into the oven, cooking Brussels sprouts only for everybody to moan about them when you take them to the table and finding out too late that you never replaced the sherry that you drank last year.
Everyone loves their Christmas dinner, it is an occasion that is synonymous with the celebration and often the centrepiece of the day. However, after years and years of the same thing, some of the magic can disappear and you may be in need of a change.
For Christmas culinary inspiration you can look a bit further afield and take a holly leaf from other country’s books.
Here are a few ideas:
The Aussie barbie
Granted, the weather in Slough may not be the same as it is in Sydney on December 25th, but you can still hold a back garden BBQ. Atop of the range barbecue such as the Weber One Touch Premium would make an ideal gift for a keen gardener of amateur chef and what better way to show it off than by cooking Christmas dinner on it?
You can play it safe and grill turkey steaks, or you can totally embrace Aussie culture by chunking another shrimp on the barbie – just don’t wear swimsuits!
France is often named as one of the best places on Earth to eat, so it makes a suitable place to look for culinary ideas at Christmas time. The French, like many countries, make a fuss over Christmas Eve’s meal as well as the food on the day itself and in chateaux in France, the night before Christmas is often spent eating an assortment of nibbles, watching festive films and then opening presents at midnight.
On the 25th, there is huge family dinner that lasts for up to eight hours. Dishes that you can serve up to emulate our Gallic cousins include oysters, foie gras, buche de Noel, chestnut-stuffed turkey and an assortment of morels.
In Germany, people begin celebrations on Christmas Eve by singing songs, opening presents and visiting church. The 25th is often devoted to a big Christmas lunch where the extended family gets together to eat a special meal.
Everyone is given a small pan and they then fill it with different ingredients such as salami, ham, mushrooms, onions, corn, peppers and the special Raclette cheese. The finished meal is usually eaten with potatoes and pickled silverskin onions, garlic butter, mushrooms. More grilled meat or scampi can be placed on top of the finished Raclette as a fitting festive garnish.
Of course, you could still be fed up with cooking from last Christmas and wanting to make good on your vow to ‘never do this again’. In Japan, Christmas is not widely celebrated but those who do, tend to embrace American influences. As such, fried chicken is often the choice of many on December 25th and it is the busiest time of year for fast food restaurants such as KFC where local people can place orders at their nearest outlet up to two months in advance for take away.
It’d certainly save on the washing up!