Traditional Holiday Foods From Around the World

Traditional Holiday Foods From Around the World


The holiday season is underway, and whether it’s Christmas, Hanukkah, Boxing Day or New Year’s being celebrated, people all around the world are cooking up holiday specialties to enjoy in a festive feast with loved ones.

Canada: Tourtiere This traditional French-Canadian pie is filled with diced meat (usually pork or veal, but varies by region) and served with ketchup or savory fruit relish. Canadians commonly eat this for Christmas Eve dinner, and serve it all the way up through New Year’s.

Singapore: Devil’s Curry Singapore serves this Eurasian-style curry on Boxing Day, December 26. It conveniently uses up some of the Christmas leftovers such as sausage, chicken, and vegetables and stews them all together in a very spicy curry sauce- hence the name!

Romania: Sarmale These little pork-stuffed cabbage rolls are enjoyed year round in Romania, but you’ll see them everywhere around the holidays. Cabbage is filled with pork, beef and rice then boiled in tomato sauce.

Israel: Latkes Most of the traditional food eaten on Hanukkah is symbolic of the events being celebrated. Many of them are fried in oil- symbolizing the oil that lasted eight days- and latkes are no exception. These potato and vegetable cakes are fried then topped with either sweet (applesauce or sugar) or savory (sour cream) condiments.

Philippines: Bibingka This is enjoyed for Christmas breakfast and you can buy it in street stalls in and around Christmas. It’s a pastry made of rice flour and sweet coconut milk, baked in a banana leaf and topped with local white cheese, grated coconut and occasionally even a salted duck egg.

Mexico: Romeritos with Mole Mexicans eat this flavorful dish during Posadas, the nine days leading up to Christmas. They mix up a batter of egg whites and powdered shrimps, cook them like pancakes then mix with a mole sauce and green plant called a romerito (meaning “little rosemary.) The result is a uniquely-flavored dish greatly enjoyed around the holidays.

Italy: Eel Down along the Amalfi Coast, holiday food comes from the most available source: the sea! Italians love to catch and fry up eel for Christmas Eve dinner, especially since the Catholic church discourages eating meat on the holiday. Served with a wedge of lemon and toasted Italian bread, it’s a grand feast indeed!



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