Christmas Tables From Around The World
Food and drinks make-up huge part of Christmas celebration anywhere. Family and friends sitting around the dining table, all decked-up in shine and sparkles while the fireplace crackles in the distance.
With that in mind, Fab! Luxe travelled across the globe, albeit virtually this year, to venture into the eclectic spread of Christmas dinners around the world. We picked-up ten dishes – some, mouthwatering, while others might be a little jaw-dropping.
Feast Of The Seven Fishes
The meal’s components include some combination of anchovies, whiting, lobster, sardines, dried salt cod or bacala, smelts, eels, squid, octopus, shrimp, mussels and clams. The menu may also include pasta, vegetables, baked goods and wine. With all these on the menu, you better be hungry!
A staple of any Vanezuelan Christmas, Hallaca is a dish made out of cornmeal and stuffed with beef, pork, chicken, raisins, capers and olives. All these are then wrapped in a banana leaf and traditionally served on Christmas and New Year’s Eve.
This delicacy consists of up to 500 small seagulls fermented whole, within a suture-closed freshly disemboweled seal. Oils are applied to the skin to prevent infestation by maggots. This is then buried underneath a large, flat stone, seam-side up to prevent rupturing by the gases that evolve and contamination. The pelt is dug up about a half year later when fermentation is complete. The sutures are then cut to reveal the fermented seagull. The fermented intestinal fluids are sucked out from the whole birds and used as sauce for other foods. It is said to taste similar to natto paste or very mature cheeses. Definitely not for the faintest of hearts!
This is sweet grain pudding that is traditionally served as part of a twelve-meal Christmas Eve supper. This festive treat is believed to have existed long before Christianity. It is made with wheat, berries, honey or sugar, nuts, raisins, and poppy seeds. On Christmas Eve, before consuming the dish, a small bowl of Kutia is traditionally placed outdoors as a bribe to Father Frost, then some of the Kutia is tossed to the ceiling, and the number of grains that stick to the ceiling are used to predict next year’s agricultural prosperity.
Rooster Doro Wat
A hearty chicken stew called Doro Wot is the traditional Christmas feast. It is created from a mound of diced onions, clarified butter and a heap of berbere spice, which simmers together on the stove for hours with a carefully carved chicken to symbolize the 12 apostles. The stew is accompanied by 12 hard-boiled eggs, which represents eternity.
Kentucky Fried Chicken
It is not as simple as walking in and ordering. December is a busy month for KFC in Japan. It is said that daily sales at some restaurants during the Christmas period can be 10 times their usual take. Getting the KFC special Christmas dinner often requires ordering it weeks in advance, and those who didn’t will wait in line, sometimes for hours – all thanks to Takeshi Okawara, the Manager of the first KFC in the country. In 1970, Okawara woke up at midnight and jotted down an idea that came to him in a dream: a Party Barrel to be sold on Christmas. Okawara dreamed up the idea after overhearing a couple of foreigners in his store talk about how they missed having turkey for Christmas. Okawara hoped a Christmas dinner of fried chicken could be a fine substitute, and so he began marketing his Party Barrel as a way to celebrate the holiday.
Puto bumbong is a Filipino delicacy traditionally served during Christmas season in the Philippines. It literally translates to steamed glutinous rice (puto) cooked in bamboo (bumbong). The rice is usually wrapped in banana leaves and then served with warm butter or margarine, coconut flakes and brown sugar.
Lutefisk starts off as cod, traditionally caught in the cold waters off Norway. It’s then dried to the point that it attains the feel of leather and the firmness of corrugated cardboard. Water alone can’t reconstitute the fish, so it’s soaked in lye. The fish is then repeatedly rinsed before being shipped off for cooking and eating. In Norway, Lutefisk is traditionally served during Christmas alongside boiled potatoes, mashed green peas, melted butter and small pieces of fried bacon.
This mouth-watering concoction is made with water and infused with spices like cinnamon and clove. This can be on the stove for hours, resulting in an absolutely overwhelming aroma that envelops every street. Drinking chocolate has been part of Peruvian culture for centuries although the consumption has usually been reserved for the middle and upper classes of society. This is especially true of the classic hot chocolate served at Christmas, as tradition calls for it to be made with shavings of high-quality chocolate, something most Peruvians (especially in the countryside) simply can’t afford to purchase. True to the meaning of Christmas, season of sharing and giving, Chocolatadas are offered to the poorest families in the region, most likely than not, these are the only treats they get over Christmas, which makes the tradition all the more special.
The tradition of eating carp for Christmas is particularly alive and well in Poland. Fish became popular for Christmas Eve dinner during the 13th century, because Polish are predominantly Catholics and Catholics considered fish as a fasting food. The history of eating fish on Christmas Eve is entirely due to the fact that Catholics couldn’t eat meat during the f