Merry Christmas and compliments of the season
We are going to experience Christmas dishes around the World today.
In Britain, the most important thing on the menu is the turkey but other alternatives are chicken, goose, pheasant and duck which are usually roasted and served with stuffing, gravy, roast potatoes and sometimes pigs in a blanket (Chipolata sausages wrapped in bacon), devils on horseback (bacon wrapped fruits) and vegetables such as carrots, brussel sprouts, parsnips and a mountain of Christmas pudding or mince pie.
In Italy, the Christmas Eve supper is more important than the Christmas Dinner. Many Italians partake in the “Feast of the Seven Fishes”, the Vigillia di Natale, for the midnight birth of baby Jesus on Christmas Eve. It often consists of various seafood dishes as many as 10 (representing the Stations of the Cross) or 13 (representing the 12 Disciples with Jesus). There are a lot of hypotheses as regards the number 7, some say its because 7 is the most repeated number in the bible, some say it represents completion as seen in Genesis 2:2, some say it represents perfection. Popular dishes include Baccalà (salted cod), calamari, linguine and clams, grilled salmon fried smelts, shrimps and fresh or fried oysters.
On Christmas Day, the meal usually features Tortellini in brodo (Tortellini boiled in meat or capon broth) with roast turkey or chicken seasoned with sauces such as mostarda or il cotechino (a sausage made from pig’s intestine) with Panettone or Pandoro (bread) or Panforte (contains fruits and nuts) with Prosecco (Italian white wine).
In Spanish, Christmas Eve is popularly known as Nochebuena or La Cena de Nochebuena or Navidad which means Good Night.It has several courses starting with simple tapas or appetizers such as spanish chorizo sausage, langostinos (prawns served with spicy sauce) then first course such as Sopa de Pescado y Marisco (Fish and Shellfish Soup), Esparragos Blancos (white asparagus with oil and vinegar) then Main Course such as roasted pork or lechon or Cordero Asado (roast lamb) or Bacalao a la riojana (Rioja style salt cod) or Pavo Trufado de Navidad (Christmas turkey with truffles) and Coquito an alcoholic beverage made with coconut milk, condensed milk and white rum. Common desserts include Turron, Spanish almond candy, Polvorones, Mantecados.
The French tradition of Reveillon de Noel which usually happens on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. Reveillon means “awakening“because it involves staying awake until midnight. It usually features aperitifs such as Champagne, Cocktails, Amuse-gueules then the entree such as foie gras, escargots or cargouille, oysters and the main course such as roast goose or turkey with chestnut stuffing, smoked salmon and cranberry sauce. One of the main goals of the reveillon is not just to have luxury food you normally couldn’t afford but also to try out fancy recipes. Common desserts are bûche de Noël (Yule log), pompe à l’huile (a flavoured bread), dates and nougat.
Just like the British one, the most important thing on the menu is the turkey or beef or ham or pork which are usually roasted and served with stuffing/dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy, squash and roasted vegetables. Common desserts are pumpkin pie or apple pie instead of Christmas pudding or mince pie. In some other states, the turkey is replaced with oysters, elk or quail.
Its Christmas dinner is similar to that of England its colonial ancestor as well as its neighbour United States. It consists of the turkey with stuffing/dressing mashed potatoes and gravy, cranberry sauce and roasted vegetables. Common desserts are plum pudding, eggnog, butter tart and gingerbread.
In Nigeria Christmas is one of the two big Christian celebrations. It’s a time when people used to move from one part of the country to the other to see family etc. It is also to welcome, family, friends and strangers to come and eat at your house. The staples for a Nigerian Christmas are generally the same for any big party in Nigeria. Jollof rice, fried rice, moi moi etc. Nigeria also love to barbeque chicken, beef, ram etc there is something about the cool harmattan evenings that encourage people to spend time outdoors.
Christmas meal usually features roast turkey or duck or beef or pork with stuffing/dressing served with yellow rice and raisins and roast vegetables followed by the traditional South African desert Malva Pudding.
Every December 25th, the Japanese flock to KFC to get a bucket of chicken. The buckets are so popular during the season that stores take reservations months in advance. The tradition is called Kurisumasu ni wa Kentakkii, or Kentucky for Christmas, and it started back in the 1970s when a KFC employee overheard a tourist in Tokyo struggling to find festive turkey in Japan, saying that he thought KFC’s chicken was the next best thing. Common desserts include Japanese Christmas cake and Smollen cake.
India people cook a variety of foods, including Biryani with chicken or lamb/mutton, chicken and mutton curry or Pork Vindaloo and Sorpatel. For dessert a dish called Bebinca is popular.
Thanks for reading!