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We all have our favorite Christmas dishes that are mashed and blended in the culture and traditions of our native countries. Christmas is as much a feast of tradition as it is of tasty treats!

Here is our list of 10 food dishes that mean Christmas!

GINGERBREAD

Gingerbread House
Homemade Decorated Ginger Bread House

The tradition of baking gingerbread into houses and decorating them began in Germany after the ‘Brothers Grimm’ published their collection of fairy tales, which included Hansel and Gretel in the early 1800s. If gingerbread doesn’t do it for you, then try the equally yummy Pfeffernüsse Cookies – think little stars and shapes covering in icing sugar, or Stollen (a fruit bread containing dried fruit and often covered with powdered sugar or icing sugar.) Fröhliche Weihnachten!

YULE LOG

Yule Log Christmas Pastry
Traditional ‘Yule log’ Christmas cake decorated with snowflake and red berries on a wooden table

Yule Log or Bûche de Noel is a French desert that literally translates to ‘Christmas Log’; referring to the traditional Yule log that a family would burn throughout the Christmas period. Joyeux Noël!

ROAST TURKEY

Roast Turkey Christmas Dish
Roasted turkey garnished with potato, vegetables and cranberries on a rustic style table decorated with autumn leaves and candles.

This centerpiece of a sit-down American holiday meal began with a fresh, affordable and “large enough to feed a crowd” idea, back in the 17th century. Although Goose used to be the traditional centerpiece in the U.K., the turkey is getting its trot on to take over. Merry Christmas!

MINCE PIES

Christmas mince pies
Christmas mince pies

This fruit-based mincemeat sweet pie of British origin has ingredients traceable to the 13th century when returning European crusaders brought with them the Middle Eastern recipes containing meats, fruits, and spices. However, in the 17th century, the filling contained real meat, with minced cooked mutton, along with the usual pastry, currants, and raisins with ginger, mace, nutmeg, cinnamon, orange rind, salt and a tiny quantity of sugar that we know so well today. Happy Christmas!

SPICED BEEF

Spiced roast beef on cutting board
Spiced roast beef on cutting board

A true Irish celebration dish! Served cold and thinly sliced, it is a great buffet favorite in many Irish households during the holiday season, traditionally served on St. Stephen’s Day (26th December), especially in Country Cork. Nollaig Shona!

PAVLOVA

Sweet Pavlova with winter berry fruits
Sweet Pavlova with winter berry fruits

Pavlova is a fruit and meringue-based dessert named after the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova. It is a popular dish for celebratory meals in Australia and New Zealand. Not what you would think of traditional winter food, but remember that down under, Christmas comes in one of the hottest months of the year, where outdoor eating and barbecues rule the roost. Happy Christmas!

AKOHO SY VOANIO

Chicken in Coconut Milk - Akoho sy Voanio very common dish in Madagascar.
Chicken in Coconut Milk – Akoho sy Voanio very common dish in Madagascar.

Christmas in Madagascar is also celebrated in the summer months; thus the Christmas classic is a fresh summer chicken dish prepared with rice and fresh coconut. Merry Krismasy!

JANSSONS FRESTELSE

Homemade Jansson's temptation
Homemade Jansson’s temptation

Also known as Janssons Temptation, this is a Swedish Christmas classic. It is a creamy potato and anchovy casserole said to be named after Pelle Janzon, a food-loving Swedish opera singer in the early 1900s. Along with Janssons Frestelse, the ever-popular Swedish meatballs, risgrynsgröt (rice pudding) and Lussekatter (sticky buns), it is served on St. Lucia’s Day on the 13th of December, their key festive day. God Jul!

PANNETONE

Homemade Panettone Fruit Cake Ready for Christmas
Homemade Panettone Fruit Cake Ready for Christmas

A festive favorite of Italy, this is a type of sweet bread loaf originally from Milan. The word ‘panettone’ is derived from the Italian word ‘panetto’, meaning a small loaf cake. Along with the almond Amaretti biscuits and hazelnut struffoli dough ball, these Italian treats are a sugar lover’s dream during the festive season. Buon Natale!

BIGOS

Bigos, a traditional Polish dish with cabbage
Bigos, a traditional Polish dish with cabbage

Bigos or Hunter’s Stew is a traditional Polish dish of finely chopped meat of various kinds stewed with sauerkraut and shredded fresh cabbage; supposedly served by the Grand Duke of Poland in 1385 to his hunting party guests. Another festive favorite is makowiek, a sticky cake with a poppy seed filling. Wesołych Świąt!


That’s 10 of our favorite Christmas dishes that are a must to make the festive season special. What’s your favorite? Let us know in the comment below: