Saturday, July 23, 2016

Christmas Traditions: What's for Dinner? Around the World, Part 1

No matter the holiday, no matter where you call home around the globe, food plays an important part of celebrations. Conversation, laughter and memories shared over a meal bring people closer together than anything else.
That said, I was curious to know what people in other countries eat on Christmas Day. Maybe I'm getting tired of serving roast turkey and baked ham every year, I don't know. But I live in the States, and they say this country is the "melting pot" of the world, so let's take a look-see at some delicious holiday meals from around that world. 

In Iceland, Jóladagur or Yule Day, is usually celebrated with extended family. The main Yule meal is 'Hangikjöt', a leg of roast lamb. 

Sometimes 'Rjúpa' (Rock Ptarmigan a sea bird) is also eaten. Another Yule meal specialty is 'Laufabrauð' or leaf bread. This is made of thin sheets of dough cut into delicate patterns and fried. Each family often has their own patterns for the Laufabrauð. (Photo from

In Brazil

Christmas comes at the height of summer's hot weather. Favourite Christmas foods in Brazil include pork, turkey, ham, salads, and fresh and dried fruits. Everything is served with rice cooked with raisins and a good spoon of "farofa" (seasoned manioc flour.) Popular Christmas desserts include tropical fruit and ice cream. (Photo from

In Japan, Christmas Eve is often celebrated more than Christmas Day since it is not a national holiday, so schools and businesses are usually open. Fried chicken is often eaten on Christmas day. It is the busiest time of year for restaurants such as KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) and people can place orders at their local fast food restaurant in advance. 
The traditional Japanese Christmas food is Christmas cake, which unlike the rich fruit cake is a sponge cake decorated with strawberries and whipped cream.

In Irelandtraditional Christmas food includes a round cake, full of caraway seeds. Often one is made for each person in the house. Nowadays, it's more common to have a Christmas Cake, a rich fruit cake covered with marzipan and decorated with icing. In addition to turkey for Christmas dinner, sometimes spiced beef is eaten. This can be served hot or cold. (Photo from

(Information obtained from (

So, crafty peeps, what's on your menu come Christmas Day? Really, we'd love to know, so leave a comment on what's cooking in your home during the holidays...


Decosse's Dynamite Doodles said...

Very interesting Pat! Generally on Christmas day, whether we are at home or with my parents, I cook a Tofurkey which is a soy based product that replaces turkey since the hubs and I are vegetarians. I mean it obviously doesn't taste exactly like turkey but it is very yummy and has an awesome texture. Man my mouth is watering just thinking about it. And again, regardless of where we are, we also have my mom's special rice dish made with basmati rice. Then of course we have to have yams and stuffing! It isn't exactly traditional Christmas fare but it is for us!


Pat said...

Lisa, I would love your mom's basmati rice recipe. I have a recipe for a meat filling which our family has traditionally uses in place of the bread pudding. It makes a great leftover alternate to turkey and ham!

Marie Bingaman said...

Great, now I'm hungry. LOL! We have turkey and/or ham, mashed potatoes, filling, sweet potato casserole, slow cooker sweet corn(this is excellent!), and sometimes crescent rolls or cheddar bay biscuits. Mmmmmmmmm. Oh, and can't forget desert! My MIL makes an awesome pumpkin pie that has a cream cheese filling below the pumpkin layer....YUMMY!!!!