In the UK, we traditionally settle down for a roast turkey, all the trimmings and a Christmas pudding on Christmas day, but around the world it’s a different story.
Want an excuse to tuck into a nice juicy steak on Christmas day? Tell the family you’re celebrating Spanish style! In Andalucia, people enjoy four courses of Christmas dinner, including red wine and meats, noodle soup with boiled eggs and peppermint, sirloin steak marinated in orange juice and blue cheese rolls. Yum!
In Holland, Christmas Day is rarely celebrated with a traditional meal. Instead, Sinterklaasavond is celebrated on the 5th December when pepernoten (biscuits made with cinnamon and spices) are sprinkled across the floor and children scramble around to pick up the most. For the adults, a spread of cinnamon biscuits and marzipan cake is laid on.
Did you know that as well as popping open a bottle of champers at midnight on New Years Eve, the Dutch celebrate with oliebollen, deep fried large donut balls filled with either raisons or apple sauce? Every year there is a competition for the best olibollen!
Meat isn’t always the star of the show in other countries. In Portugal, salted codfish takes centre stage. A tradition dating back through the ages, the cod is served with eggs, potatoes and greens, all washed down with a good glass of Port! In the region of Penamacor, a special tradition called the ‘Madeiro’ takes place on Christmas Eve where a bonfire is lit just before Midnight mass and locals meet to chat, celebrate and sing Christmas songs.
At a toasty 86 degrees Fahrenheit over the festive period in Australia, how else to celebrate but with a Christmas day BBQ? Australians often tuck into a feast of steak, sausages, chicken skewers and sweet potato as part of their traditional Christmas day. As Christmas falls in the middle of the Australian summer, children are told that Santa often swaps out his reindeer for kangaroos and his iconic red robes for cooler clothes!
Normally reserved for Boxing Day in the UK, Christmas Dinner in Peru consists of potato salad with bacon, mayonnaise and turkey stuffing. For desert, families relax with a panettone and a creamy, rich hot chocolate made from dark chocolate, cinnamon and cloves. Would you prefer this to a Christmas pud?
In Estonia, alcohol is as much a part of the Christmas dinner as the food. Their meal begins with a bottle of champagne accompanied by canapes, with a starter of a seafood platter served with a dry white wine. Next, Estonians move on to a turkey with a fruity red wine and it’s back to the champagne again for dessert. Naturally, the meal ends with a cheese board accompanied by, you guessed it, more wine!
Soup for dessert? Did you know that in China, the soup is often part of the last course as it is believed to allow for better digestion.