It’s almost that jolly time of the year again when we get together with our loved ones and we celebrate one of the most beloved holidays of the year: Christmas! Be it for the gifts and seasonal food or just because we enjoy spending time with our dear ones, we all adore this holiday. There’s nothing more charming than spending the night before Christmas near the fireplace alongside your buddies or your family. In order to get ourselves in the festive mood and ready for the chilly weather of winter that is soon to come, I’ve decided to put together an exciting list of some of my favorite Christmas food from around the world!
Italy’s Sweet Bread
When it comes to Italian festive cuisine we must focus on the mastery of the Italians when it comes to sweets. For example, they adore eating sweet bread during Christmas. And so they have three different versions of it, each from a different region.
The sweet bread made in Milan is called “Panettone” (Large Cake). It usually contains raisins, oranges and lemon zest which is the peel of the lemon. It is cylindrical and is usually eaten with some sweet wine on the side.
Verona’s take on sweet bread is called “Pandoro” (Golden bread). It is smaller in size than the Panettone and it is sprinkled with powdered sugar in order to resemble The Alps during Christmas.
During ancient times, the Pandoro was a luxurious food eaten only by the nobility. Nowadays, fortunately, we can eat it regardless of our social class.
Last but not least we have Tuscany’s interpretation of the sweet bread named “Panforte” (Strong bread). This one is a bit tougher to chew as its consistency is quite thick. “Strong” refers to the strong pepper that is added to its composition to make it spicy. Among the pepper, there are nuts, honey and other spices and just like the Pandoro, it is dusted with vanilla sugar.
Want to try some panettone? Here’s a good recipe that you can test!
France’s “tretze dessèrts”
The French people of Provence celebrate Christmas with “le gros souper” (the big supper) after which they eat a variety of desserts called “lei tretze dessèrts” which consists of thirteen types of desserts ranging from fresh fruit like tangerines, grapes, winter melon to sweets such as “biscotins” (biscuits), oreillettes (light tin waffles), pompes à l’huile (brioche made from orange flower water and olive oil) and Yule log (chocolate-filled roulade that resembles the log that is burned on Christmas Day).
Fun fact: the number thirteen refers to Jesus and his twelve apostles!
Doesn’t the chocolate stuffed Yule log sound delicious? Here’s an amazing recipe for it that will not disappoint!
The United Kingdom’s Christmas pudding
The brits enjoy preparing their traditional Christmas pudding during the winter season. The pudding is a rather popular Christmas food known by most of the world. It is usually prepared during the “Stir-up Sunday” which is the last Sunday before the Christian Season of Advent. In the past, there was an idea that stated that the pudding was composed of thirteen ingredients (that refer to Jesus and his apostles just like France’s “lei tretze dessèrts”) However, current recipes don’t seem to include more than dried fruit, crumbs of bread, suet, flour, eggs and liquids such as wine or milk.
Its main ingredient is the suet (raw fat from beef or mutton) and its dark appearance stems from the dark sugar and treacle used in most recipes.
Looking to try some? I’ve got a wonderful and simple recipe just for you!
The Germans are always ready to impress us each Christmas with their scrumptious gingerbread houses. The walls and rooftop are made up of cookie dough or boiled dough. The decorations of the house are usually made up of several types of candy and icing that represent the snow.
What’s nice about gingerbread structures is that they don’t necessarily need to be houses. You can be as creative as you want! Want to make a gingerbread museum or a church? Sure! Or maybe you’re more into sports and so you would prefer to build a stadium? Even better!
Fun fact: Jon Lovitch, a sous-chef at the New York Marriott Marquis Hotel broke the world record of “largest gingerbread village”. He broke it by making a town composed of 1,251 individual gingerbread houses, each unique in their own way.
Fun fact: the German Pfefferkuchenhaus refers to the well-known fairy-tale of “Hansel and Gretel”
Feeling creative? Here’s a charming yet complex recipe for an astonishing gingerbread house!
Romania’s Boeuf Salad
I’ve decided to end this list with my favorite festive dish “Salata de Boeuf”. It is a salad made up of chopped beef or chicken and vegetables such as carrots, pickles, potato and peas that are mixed with homemade mayonnaise. In order for it to have a nice aspect, people prefer to embellish it with bits of boiled egg whites, pickled peppers and olives.
Even though it is high in calories because of how much mayonnaise goes inside of the mixture, it has remained a guilty pleasure of mine for so many New Year’s Eve parties.
Sounds tasty? Try this trusty recipe for a delightful Boeuf Salad.
As you can clearly see, the world is truly graced with exquisite Christmas food, each unique in its own way and ready to satisfy our taste buds!