Traditional Christmas Dishes from Around the World

A Christmas Eve dinner varies from one country to another. While a roasted dish in Puerto Rico may lead to the clanking of Christmas dinner plates, a spicy chicken entrée could be the only showstopper in Ethiopia. The diverse cuisines this world has to offer is the reason why every one of us is always excited to cook something special during this time of the year.

Before you prepare Christmas dinner, though, you may want to check out these 10 traditional holiday dishes from around the world. One of these just might inspire you to come up with a new holiday recipe.

Roasted Pork Shoulder

The Pernil Asado is a Puerto Rican dish that means roasted pork shoulder. It is the Christmas ham’s counterpart in Puerto Rico. This slow-roasted dish, which is marinated in orange juice, cumin, and garlic, will take approximately 11 hours to prepare. Rest assured, the outcome of your effort will please anyone’s taste buds. Click here for the complete recipe.

The Feast of Seven Fishes

Introduce something new on your dining table with this traditional Italian seaside meal. It commemorates the wait for the birth of Jesus Christ at midnight, but others say that the number seven represents the number of days God created the world. Regardless of the story behind it, your family will love it down to the last fish. Check out the complete recipe here.

Kruschicki 

In English, this dish from Poland means bow tie fritters. These crunchy, sugar-dusted cookies would always stir kids and adults with excitement on Christmas Eve and other holidays. Prepare your whiskey glassware if you’re having these on Christmas Eve because according to the Polish folks, Kruschicki is best served with a glass of whiskey. Here’s the complete recipe for this dish.  

Doro Wat

A perfect Ethiopian Christmas dinner comes with Doro Wat or chicken stew. This flavorful dish is marinated in an array of spices, such as chili, garlic, onion, oregano, paprika, nutmeg, cardamom, ginger, and Berbere, which is a special Ethiopian spice. The chicken is then cooked slowly for three hours at low temperature to release its natural juices. Click here for the full recipe.

Bacalao a la Mexicana

Mexico’s traditional Christmas dinner happens on January 6, when every home in the country features a dish called Bacalao a la Mexicana. This spicy food, which was inspired by Spain’s Bacalao, consists of salt cod and different kinds of spices that render its authentic taste. Click here for the complete recipe.

Christmas Goose with Stuffing

Back in the 17th Century, oyster and lamb dishes were often served in American homes during Christmas Eve. Nowadays, a traditional American Christmas dinner would include the rich taste of a roasted goose with apple and cranberry stuffing. Some Americans, though, prefer to use poussin instead of goose when cooking this dish because the former’s meat is more tender. Get the recipe here.

Laufabraud

Incorporate a slice of art into your holiday feast with this Icelandic dish, which means leaf bread in the English language. It is a crunchy, thin, flat bread with intricate patterns. Families in Iceland make this delicacy a few days before Christmas Eve to ensure they accomplish the bread’s beautiful patterns flawlessly. Here’s how to make a Laufabraud.

Buche de Noel

This delicious buttercream cake was inspired by France’s tradition of burning a yule log in the fireplace on Christmas Eve. These days, the French would welcome Christmas Eve with a log of Buche de Noel complementing their Christmas dinner. Learn how to make your own yule log cake here.

Sauerbraten

If you’re still wondering what your main course should be, take inspiration from Germany’s pot roast beef or popularly known as Sauerbraten. Soaked in lemon juice and buttermilk marinade for three days, then slow-cooked for two to three hours, this dish will surely give your family and guests a memorable gastronomic experience. Get the authentic recipe for this dish here.

Julskinka

This list of traditional Christmas dishes wouldn’t be complete without Sweden’s Julskinka or glazed Christmas ham. In Sweden, the Julskinka is the dining table’s main attraction during Christmas dinner. Making this Swedish ham entails a lot of patience because you need to go through different cooking methods to achieve its authentic taste. If you want to include Julskinka in your Christmas dinner menu, follow this recipe.

Enjoy a virtual trip to international kitchens with this list of traditional Christmas dishes from around the world. Which of these entrees are you considering for your Christmas Eve dinner?

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