December 21, 2012

Christmas Food Traditions Around The World


Baked ham, wiener schnitzel, fruitcakes, sugar mice, roast goose and even Kentucky Fried Chicken find their way onto Christmas tables around the world. Regardless of the country, those who celebrate Christmas with traditional foods are assured fantastic treats to celebrate the yuletide.

Christmas in America

Americans can be assured of a bounty of specially prepared foods at Christmas. Baked ham is a common staple on Christmas tables in America. Bean casseroles, homemade rolls and candied yams are also traditional fare. The baked turkey is starting to find its way onto the table, too. Cream puffs, yule logs, bread pudding and rum or brandy cakes round out the meal for dessert. Egg nog is a common celebratory drink as are various creme de menthes.

The holiday fruitcake sits in nearly every home, and Americans have a peculiar custom of passing this cake around from family to family as Christmas gifts until someone finally opens it and eats a slice. Few will admit to liking the ubiquitous fruitcake. The first fruitcake was made in ancient Rome and is likely still circulating from family to family, ready to cross the Atlantic Ocean and find a place on an American Christmas table.

A Samurai Kentucky Fried Christmas

Japanese by the millions order buckets of chicken from Kentucky Fried Chicken to bring in the yuletide celebration. Called Kurisumasuniwakentakkii, meaning Kentucky for Christmas, the Japanese have been ordering buckets of KFC with Colonel Sander’s smiling face under a Santa Claus hat since the 1970s. Some families will order and reserve their buckets a month ahead to be certain that they’ll be licking their fingers the night before Christmas.

A United Kingdom Christmas

...and not a creature was stirring, except for English sugar mice. Leave it to the Brits to associate Christmas with traditional sugar mice. Households bake these candy confections with sugar, food colorings, flavorings and cotton thread tails for the family to enjoy. These mouse treats are followed by breakfast sausages wrapped in bacon and broiled until golden and crisp.

Christmas in Spain

La Noche Buena, meaning The Good Night, is a family affair that offers plates of food over many hours. The feast is eaten on Christmas eve and consists of several courses. It starts with tapas which are ham, cheese and Spanish chorizo on bread. These appetizers are served with red wine. Next are plates of prawns with a spicy pink sauce. Fish and shellfish soup is traditional, followed by white asparagus. The main course will be roast lamb, fried potatoes and a mixed green salad. Dessert is almond candies and cookies.

German Christmas

Wiener schnitzel, cabbage and sauerkraut are favorite German Christmas dishes. Spiced cakes and cookies are baked for dessert.

Christmas in France

The French gorge themselves on a tasty Christmas dish called brandied roast goose. It’s served with a Cognac fruit sauce. Slow-cooked beef burgundy is another favorite. Small cheese puffs called gougerers are Christmas appetizers served with a favorite wine or cocktails.

 Author Bio: Anthony is a chef at Dedes Restaurant in Sydney, Australia. Anthony loves discovering food traditions in countries all over the world to use as inspiration in his own cooking.


  1. I miss Christmas in the Philippines! The aroma of nuche buena food, the laugh and the chitchats.. sigh..

  2. if theres one thing common about christmas it is celebrating om a wonderful meal. i cant wait its just a few days before christmas :D

    The Bargain Doll

  3. Same here! I miss when my mom used to cook all the favorite foods such as macaroni salad, Filipino style Spaghetti, fruit salad, Fried Turkey and grilled fish!!! oh i miss home! :(

  4. I can relate in Christmas in Spain in the list as we inherit the Noche Buena from them. But I still like the real Filipino Christmas foods...

  5. interesting huh? hehehehe well, since we don't celebrate christmas i can't really differentiate what kind of christmas a country celebrates

  6. omg! this is a great way to know that even we all live in different countries with all the different food to serve when its xmas the truth is still we all hve this one opinion and one heart with the gods bday to celebrate! xx

  7. how interesting! In my opinion, alang makakapantay sa celebration nang pasko sa pinas...I miss celebrating christmas in the of a kind!

  8. Very interesting food fare from other countries but I know you will understand when I say that there is nothing like Filipino food especially in Christmas.

  9. para sakin Christmas here in the Philippines is still the best,,, Sa amin a simple loaf bread, spaghetti at mainit na sopas... katalo na! basta sama-sama kami tuwing pasko heheh!

    Advance Merry Christmas to all of you! :D

  10. I too miss the Philippine Christmas. There is nothing like it to me. I miss it so much!!! There ate also let's of good food here in America when it is Christmas time and I am also interested in trying some German holiday dishes since my husband is part German. Merry Christmas to you!

  11. One thing about Christmas is that you will be able to celebrate it with the family and i love it with a wonderful meal.

  12. Aww it's nice to know how other countries celebrate Christmas. One thing in common: Lots of food :D

    I'm excited for tomorrow's celebration. It's my first time to cook for noche buena :)

  13. Special foods cooked during Christmas are always awaited to be eaten by the whole family :) Merry Christmas!

  14. Every Christmas, Ham and Queso de Bola is always on our table.It's tradition, right???

  15. This is a very interesting Christmas post. :) I learned a few things. Having lived abroad for more than a decade, I definitely miss Filipino Christmas.

  16. Christmas is celebrated worldwide with lots of food and gifts. Bus as what other people say, Christmas is celebrated best in the Philippines.



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