Think Christmas Dinner and the first image that comes to mind is a table whimpering under the weight of a spread for kings – roast turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, steamed vegetables and other fillings. Christmas Meal
Well, ancient customs and traditions have combined to influence what's on the table on Christmas Day for families from different countries around the world. Let yourself be embarked on a culinary journey around the world and discover what people are eating for their Christmas dinner!
Traditionally, the Christmas meal is the main meal that takes place on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.
United Kingdom and Ireland
Interestingly, the British did not eat roast turkey as a traditional Christmas meal until 1650. In medieval England, the main course was still roast goose, peacock or wild boar, the last being more popular. This is only when the French Jesuits imported turkey from Europe to Britain that she began to adorn the Christmas tables from the 1700s. Today, Of course, it is unthinkable to imagine a Christmas dinner without roast turkey and all the other toppings. A typical Christmas dish (mainly in the afternoon) consists of roast turkey, cranberry sauce, bread sauce, roasted potatoes, steamed Brussels sprouts and carrots, with the Christmas pudding. Chopped pies are also an essential accompaniment for the Christmas meal.
Since the fall of Christmas during the summer season in the Southern Hemisphere, meats such as chicken, ham and turkey are more often served cold than the traditional Christmas meal. Seafood is another popular option, especially shrimp and barbequed shrimp. Dessert could have a baked meringue topped with fruit in the season – mangoes or cherries.
Christmas Eve in Austria puts an end to fasting before Christmas. Christmas is a national holiday in the country and Austrians normally spend the day feasting and having fun with their family members. Typical dishes for traditional Christmas dinner include fried carp, roasted goose and ham served with mulled wine and fruit punch. The meal is usually completed with a rich chocolate mousse.
Christmas is celebrated with all the fervor of a carnival in this country of South America! The Christmas meal is nothing but a treat and is served on Christmas Eve (24 December). Roast turkey, fresh vegetables like kale, seasonal fruits and Brazil nuts are an important part of the sumptuous meal. Roast pork, roast chicken and fish are also eaten in many parts of Brazil. A variety of desserts such as lemon pie, chocolate cake and pies are eaten.
One can see a departure from the traditional roast turkey in the Christmas meal of the Czech Republic which typically consists of a fried carp and a potato salad. A large quantity of Christmas cookies is cooked by families, to offer friends and relatives on Christmas day.
The Christmas dinner is held on December 24 and includes roast pork with crackers, goose or duck. There is a lot of sauce, roasted potatoes and red cabbage. The sweet dish is not the traditional plum pudding, but a rich rice pudding served with cherry or strawberry sauce and filled with almonds. The mulled wine flows freely.
The Christmas meal in this Nordic country looks more like a Christmas table, the traditional food served at Christmas in Finland. Occuping centrestage is the typical big Christmas ham, which is usually eaten with mustard or bread in addition to a variety of other dishes. There is also fish, stews with liver, potatoes, rice and carrots.
The French enjoy their Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve in anticipation of staying awake until midnight and beyond. At the top of the list are goose or duck foie gras, oysters, smoked salmon, lobster and roast duck, goose or turkey. A sumptuous and traditional Christmas cake called The Christmas Buche or a Christmas log is savored today. It's a rich cream cake flavored log-shaped. The typical drink is … you guessed it, champagne!
The traditional Christmas dinner is served on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day itself, mainly roast meat and roasted carp. Roasted suckling pig or duck are also found on many tables. Cabbage and its varieties such as kale, Brussels sprouts and red cabbage dominate the side dishes that also include roasted potatoes. Christmas pastries include marzipan, spice bars, and several types of fruit breads.
Ukraine and Poland, Lithuania
These three eastern European countries are known for their elaborate supper of 12 Christmas meals. This ritualized meal consists of twelve meatless dishes in honor of the 12 apostles of Christ. The stress on the vegetarian diet is because the time before Christmas is observed with fasting and prayer. There is no meat, eggs or milk and the dishes are dominated by fish, mushrooms and all kinds of cereals.
Known as Noche Buena by locals, the traditional Christmas dinner in the Philippines is a family affair. It is appreciated after the whole family attended the end of the evening or the midnight mass. Pork has a strong presence in this country of Southeast Asia and the pillar of the Christmas meal is Christmas ham. It is served with a cheese ball Edam – a popular seasonal Christmas dish. Filipino rich families can also serve roast pork on the spit, stuffed chicken, spicy beef stew and other favorite Filipino dishes. Hot chocolate is the popular drink during Christmas in the Philippines.
Long live the kitchens of the world!