Christmas foods around the world

A little taste of the world

Jennifer Pereyra, Reporter

There are many ways to celebrate Christmas, and caters a wide variety of foods during the holidays as well.  Your traditional ham, turkey, mashed potatoes, and gingerbread cookies, definitely aren’t the norm on the Christmas tables all around the world.  

In the Philippines, Christmas isn’t complete without Lechon, or whole roast suckling pig.

It’s a common centerpiece of a Filipno Christmas table, followed 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 Kaldereta, a goat stew. This meal is often followed with desserts including puto bumbong (sweet purple rice with sugar and coconut) and bibingka, a layered dessert made with rice flour, sugar, butter, and coconut milk. 

In Japan, Kentucky fried chicken is so popular that Christmas orders are placed up to two months in advance. This Christnas dish is usually followed along with a Japanese sponge cake, frosted with whipped cream and topped with strawberries. Though this dinner sounds odd, it sure is a big hit in Japan. 

In Mexico, typical dishes include tamales, bacalao (dried salted cod), pozole (soup with either chicken or pork seasoned with chile and garlic), and buñuelos (fried dough with sugar). But what’s considered the height of Christmas season, is on Jan. 6, where they celebrate El dia de los Reyes, which means the day of The Three Kings. On that day, families eat  Rosca de Reyes, a Spanish pastry, typically oval shaped, and inside a hidden baby Jesus. Whoever finds it becomes the “godparent” of Jesus that year.

In Spain,  they begin the meal with various tapas, then move on to soup as the first course, usually including seafood. The second course is usually fish and/or lamb. Dessert includes a few options, but Turrón, a type of nougat, is a tradition. It’s a mix of honey, sugar, egg whites, and almonds. 

Irish Christmas dinners aren’t so different from America; although, goose is considered more traditional. Meals usually begin with smoked salmon or prawns, followed by a meat entrée, along with vegetables and, of course, potatoes. A popular choice of dessert is Christmas pudding with brandy butter or sherry sauce, or a slice of cake. Sherry trifle is also popular, which is a sponge cake soaked in sherry with fruit, jelly, and cream. 

No matter how, who, and what you celebrate Christmas with, there are many different recipes to spice up the holidays.