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.
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.
Author Bio: Anthony is a chef at