What’s cooking this Christmas? Some culinary traditions from around the world

Christmas, Christmas 2019, Christmas foods, Christmas food from around the world, Italy, Germany, Japan, Indian Express, Indian Express news

Most families plan an elaborate feast for their near and dear ones on this day. (Source: Getty/Thinkstock)

The day of feasting is finally here. Christmas is one joyous occasion that encourages people to come together and participate in the spirit of the festival. Among other things, most families plan an elaborate feast for their near and dear ones, as it gives them a chance to become the best hosts and usher in the festival with great pomp. But, whatever is put on the table varies from country to country. With so many cultures celebrating the festival, let us take a look at the different culinary traditions on Christmas from around the world. Read on.

Christmas pudding, UK

For the people residing in United Kingdom, Christmas is incomplete without the customary pudding. The dessert comprises flour, egg, molasses, spices, dry fruits, etc., and acts as an encore for when you have finished a sumptuous meal.

Fried chicken, Japan

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Japanese families have to sometimes reserve their meal months in advance, given that almost the entire country follows this tradition. (Source: Getty/Thinkstock)

Trust the Japanese to come up with something extremely unusual on Christmas Day. In Japan, the Christmas season calls for the consumption of Kentucky Fried Chicken, or KFC — a global fast food chain. As such, families get together around the dinner table and eat fried chicken. The interesting bit is, they have to sometimes reserve their meal months in advance, given that almost the entire country follows this tradition. It is believed that sometime in the 1970s, KFC came up with an interesting marketing strategy, wherein they told customers to follow this tradition so as to fill a 'void'. The tradition was birthed then.

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Christmas goose, Germany

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The tradition of eating roasted goose dates back to the middle ages, when it was associated with St. Martin’s Day. (Source: Getty/Thinkstock)

Christmas feast for the Germans revolves around roasted goose, which is stuffed with apples, chestnuts, onions, prunes, and served with red cabbage, gravy and potato dumplings. This tradition dates back to the middle ages, and was believed to have been associated with St. Martin’s Day initially.

Panettone, Italy

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The panettone cake with dried fruits -- a Christmas must-have in Italy. (Source: Getty/Thinkstock)

Considered to be a food paradise, Italy has many preparations and culinary traditions when it comes to Christmas dinner. Among other things, there is the customary 'Feast of the Seven Fishes', which entails seven different fish prepared in seven different ways. Additionally, sweet dishes play an important role and in the northern part of the country, people eat the panettone. It is a cake comprising fruits, raisins, chocolates and nuts.

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Tamales, Costa Rica

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Every year, families in Costa Rica use their own secret recipe to prepare this dish. (Source: Getty/Thinkstock)

This is a Christmas tradition that families follow year after year, using their own secret recipe. Tamales is basically a corn dough wrapped in a banana leaf, and then steamed. The filling is mostly pork with some beef and/or chicken, garlic, onions, potatoes, etc.

Saffron buns, Sweden

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A tray of freshly-baked homemade Swedish traditional saffron buns. (Source: Getty/Thinkstock)

The Swedish believe in eating a three-course meal, which is prepared every year on Christmas. For dessert, they have the sweet and yellow saffron buns, which take the shape of the alphabet 'S'. Traditionally, it is believed that the oldest daughter has to serve it to the family.