Have you ever wondered what other countries are putting on the table for Christmas? From Japan to Ghana and even Brazil, we have some fun traditions to share.
Christmas is a much celebrated holiday that brings together families from all over the world and as a traditional holiday there is always plenty of food on the table! From overcrowded KFCs in Japan to Pavlova in Australia, every part of the world has a story to tell.
France: The Yule Log
The Bûche de Noël is a French cake that is usually served as a dessert after Christmas dinner. The sponge cake is rolled into a log shape and covered with an often textured chocolate buttercream, which resembles tree bark. The decor doesn’t stop there. You will often see these logs embellished with meringue mushrooms and piped holly leaves.
The log (which translates to log) is made to bring back the ancient tradition of burning the log, a custom that goes back a long way in time. The whole family carefully selected a tree and then burned it to signify the end of winter.
You can find these delicious, sweet treats at many custom bakeries in the United States, and many grocery stores sell them in the Quebec City area as well! Try to make one this year!
Get the recipe: The spruce eats
England: Fig pudding
You didn’t have a real British Christmas dinner if the fig pudding wasn’t offered for dessert. This famous pudding, which looks more like bread, is part of the quintessential Christmas if you’re in the UK, and dates back to medieval England.
At the time, fig pudding was created as a method of preserving meats during the winter months, which they called “Frumenty”.
Today it’s called a lot of things including “plum pudding” and “Christmas pudding” and is a symbolic staple for many. Are you wondering what it tastes like? Try to do it yourself; this is delicious.
Get the recipe: Food web
Eating Latkes, or fried potato pancakes, is a very important custom in Isreal during Chanukah. Cooking latkes in oil is a way to commemorate the burning of oil during eight miraculous days in Jerusalem.
A few humble ingredients, including grated potatoes, onion, eggs, flour, and salt, all come together to create a crisp and delicious Hanukkah Levivot (AKA Latkes).
Get the recipe: All Recipes
Japan: Kurisumasu Keki
Japan has its version of Christmas fruitcake, but this one is not dense and stuffed with macerated fruit and dreaded by everyone (except your grandma). It’s quite the opposite.
Japanese Christmas cake is spongy and covered with fresh strawberries and whipped cream. You might be wondering why we are sharing a cake recipe and skipping the main course. This is because millions of Japanese families get Christmas Fruit Cake from KFC with the special Christmas Bucket.
It has become so popular in Japan that families often have to reserve their KFC meals up to a few months in advance. How cool. What you can think of like any other fast food chain has become an annual holiday tradition for others.
Get the recipe: The spruce eats
Christmas is huge in the Philippines and is often celebrated between September and January. This happy time is usually spent feasting on delicious sweet and savory dishes, but one of the most popular is a ham dinner. ‘
It can be fried, eaten on its own or with a white cheese called “kesong puti”. Most importantly, these Christmas hams are often glazed with sweet, syrupy honey and pineapple.
Get the recipe: Carol Au Courant
Brazil: Peru from Natal
In Brazil, people generally like the “Peru of Natal” or “The Christmas Turkey”. It’s a staple there much like Americans do during Thanksgiving.
Also similar to the practice in some American homes, the turkey is carved in front of the family at the table. What makes it a little different is that the turkey is made with a fruit marinade and served with fruits like peaches, pineapples and oranges.
Americans might also find traditional meal times a bit odd. It’s quite common in America to serve holiday meals earlier in the day (almost like a late lunch), but the traditional way to serve Peru from Natal to Brazil is to attend a Christmas mass at midnight.
Get the recipe: Sabor Brazil
Eating hangikjöt (smoked lamb) is an Icelandic Christmas custom. Served on Christmas Day, you will often enjoy eating it with peas, potatoes, cabbage and of course, a béchamel sauce.
You can usually find smoked lamb in a butcher’s shop, but if you need a traditional bechamel sauce, we’ve got one for you.
Get the recipe: Reykjavik’s vineyard
Pozole or Posole is an irresistible soup that you will find in most Mexican homes on Christmas Eve. This soup is usually made with chicken or pork and seasoned with peppers and garlic. You will often enjoy this dish with avocado and lime or cabbage. Like many Mexican dishes, there is a wide variety of posole ingredients influenced by region and family traditions.
Get the recipe: Chic kitchen
Ghana: okra soup
In Ghana, Christmas is celebrated from December 20e and until the first week of January. Now is the time for the family to be together and take part in many personalized activities. One of the most important events is to attend church on Christmas Eve, where traditional dancing and drumming takes place.
Traditional foods include porridge and meats, rice, fufu (yam paste) and, of course, okra soup. Many people, even those who grew up in the southern United States where okra is commonly served, may not know it, but okra is originally from Ethiopia and is frequently found in African dishes.
Get the recipe: Low carbohydrate Africa
While some of the older generation still celebrate a traditional Christmas roast meat dinner, young Australians generally enjoy a barbecue meal. Christmas is the height of summer for Australia. Therefore, many find it too hot to roast and bake inside. The cozy winter feasts that many enjoy in cold winter climates are just a little too tasty and heavy on the stomach for a summer celebration!
Some foods that are tossed on the grill include steak, potatoes, and barra, which is short for Barramundi or big fish. Some parts of Australia enjoy prawns (prawns) while others also enjoy roast lamb, pork or beef. Of course, all of these foods are accompanied by a cold beer.
Typical desserts include plum pudding, trifle and pavlova. Pavlova is a textured cake that is coated with freshly whipped cream and fresh fruit. It is a must.
Get the recipe: Sally’s Pastry Addiction