The beauty of Christmas is that every home celebrates it a little differently. One constant though is celebrating with delicious food. From Italy to South Africa, Philippines to Poland, here is just a taste of some famous Christmas dishes around the world.
Italy- The Feast of Seven Fishes
The traditional Christmas Eve dinner is the Feast of the Seven Fishes, which typically consists of seven seafood dishes, symbolic of the number seven, which is the most repeated number in the bible. As the name suggests, seven different types of seafood dishes cover the table, from clams, cod, and calamari to shrimp, smelt, and scallops; oysters, octopus, and snails also make appearances.
South Africa- Grilled Turkey or Duck
The Daily Meal reminds us that Christmas falls in the middle of summer south of the equator, so in South Africa it’s not uncommon to find people preparing their Christmas dinner on the grill. For many, however, Christmas involves turkey or duck, roast beef, mince pies, or suckling pig with yellow rice and vegetables. A sweet and spongy cake called malva pudding is also popular.
Lechon, or whole roast suckling pig, is a common centerpiece of a Filipino Christmas table, along with ham, queso de bola (edam cheese), pancit (a noodle dish with meat and vegetables), a type of chorizo called morcon, a stew-like beef dish called machado, and a goat stew called kaldereta.
Poland’s Christmas Eve dinner is a huge meatless feast where families break their fasts by sharing a Christmas wafer at the first sight of a star in the evening’s night sky. Then, they dig into dishes such as herring, carp, root vegetables, fruit compote, sauerkraut, and of course, potato pierogies! Desserts often include makowiec, a poppyseed cake, and honey ginger cookies.
Whether you are feasting on the seven fishes in Italy, or cutting into a whole roast pig in the Philippines, everyone around the world agrees on one thing: Christmas is for tradition, and a large part of that tradition involves feasting on our favorite dishes!