It is amazing to see how Christmas is celebrated in different cultures. Below are some popular international Christmas treats you will find on the table of a lot of families in other countries during the Christmas period. It will be fun to try some of these dishes if you can.
Feast of the Seven Fishes (Italy)
The Feast of the Seven Fishes is an Italian traditional celebration of Christmas Eve with meals of fish and other seafood. It began in Southern Italy to honor the wait for the midnight birth Vigilia di Natale of baby Jesus. It is also known as The Virgil. It’s a feast that consists of seven different seafood dishes. Some families celebrate with up to thirteen different seafood dishes.
Coquilles Saint-Jacques (France)
This Coquilles Saint-Jacques recipe is an age long traditional French dish of scallops simmered in white wine, butter and seasonings. It’s served in a scallop shell with a bed of mushrooms. Some people make it richer with a Gruyere and breadcrumb topping. It can be eaten as a main dish or appetizer.
Chiles en nogada (Mexico)
Chiles en nogada is Mexican dish that consists of poblano chilis filled with picadillo (a mixture usually containing shredded meat, aromatics, fruits and spices. It is topped with a walnut-based cream sauce, called nogada, and pomegranate seeds, giving it the three colors of the Mexican flag: white for the nut sauce, red for the pomegranate and green for the chili,. The walnut used to prepare nogada is a cultivar called Nogal de Castilla or Castilian Walnut.
Jollof Rice (Nigeria)
Jollof Rice is a West African rice dish that is very common in Nigeria. Its origins is said to be from the Wolof people of Senegal and Gambia. There are many types of Jollof Rice but the one constant thing about it is the color. A reddish color from the tomatoes used. Ingredients include tomatoes, tomato paste, red bell pepper, rice, onion, salt, curry and thyme. It can be eaten with fish or meat, salad or fried plantain.
Zakuski is a traditional Russian holiday feast of seafood appetizers, hot and cold hors d’oeuvres or little dishes. It always heralds the main meal. It is salty with a sharp taste. The flavors used are Georgian and Scandinavian which appeals to many Russian taste buds. Typical zakuski consist of mixed salads, pirogs or pirozhki, cold cuts, cured fishes, kholodets (meat jelly), tomatoes, beets, cucumbers, sauerkraut, pickled mushrooms, deviled eggs, hard cheeses, caviar, canapés, open sandwiches, and breads. Some Russians wash it down with a shot of iced vodka or other available drinks.
Ceia de Natal (Brazil)
This is a traditional Brazilian Christmas turkey dinner, usually served after midnight Christmas Eve Mass at church. It is very similar to Thanksgiving Day celebration in America. The midnight time is not compulsory. The turkey is served with rice, fruits and a dressing made with the giblets and farinha de mandioca. The marinade for the turkey is made from champagne and spices and served with pomegranates and root vegetables to celebrate fertility and luck in the New Year. Brazilian flan is the choice dessert for this meal
Lebkuchen is a popular traditional German fruit and spice Christmas cookie. It was invented in the 13th century by monks in Franconia, Germany. Lebkuchen has a number of variations based on region, spicy to sweet tastes and shapes. The round shaped treats are the most common. It is made from honey, aniseed, coriander, cloves, ginger, cardamom, allspice almonds, hazelnuts, and walnuts, or candied fruit. Lebkuchen is usually soft with a spicy aroma and is often relished with tea or coffee. Some types of Lebkuchen are Oblaten Lebkuchen cookies in which the dough is baked on a thin wafer. Elisen Lebkuchen are the highest quality Oblaten Lebkuchen available while Kaiserlein have a picture drawn or imprinted.
May Olusola is the Founder and Publisher of MannaEXPRESS.