No doubt world wide it's a wonderful time of the year as Christmas is coming closer. Every where it's all about Christmas decor, tree decorations & the sound of jingles in the air. As for as food, it's the baking of cakes, Christmas trimmings and the presentation of Christmas eve dinners with elaborate spread.
This time I was a little curious to know more about the Christmas traditions and the special favorite recipes of Christmas in various countries. I am glad to have found a few details and I am happy to share this culinary tour which gives an insight into the customs and habits of people during this time of the year. In many countries amidst the severe winter, people preparing for Christmas feast with elaborate menu and decorating their homes with creativity is truly wonderful and amazing thing.
In England it is celebrated enthusiastically as they say a wassail bowl filled with warm ale, wine, spice and fruit floating on top brings a touch of merry England to the Christmas table. It is said that Charles Dickens and Prince Albert created the modern Christmas. The former with his Christmas carol and the later popularizing the Christmas tree.
In Italy traditional Christmas varies from North to South but stuffed roasted capon is enjoyed throughout the country. Ham is popular and is served in a pastry with glace fruits and mustard syrup.
In Germany the tradition includes preparing roast goose or pork with red cabbage. Christstollen fruity yeast cakes are baked but in many households the main dish is still carp cooked in beer.
In Romania Christmas in countryside centers around folk singing and dancing. Pork is the favorite meat and comes in a vast variety of smoked hams and sausages and as stuffing for cabbage. Pork and lamb are barbecued over open fire and are traditionally served with roasted aubergines.
In Spain the Christmas symbol is the creche a miniature representation in wood and ceramic of the manger scene. In towns usually it's turkey and sucking pig, while in mountain districts it is lamb served. Every sweet shop displays its own version of turron a sweetmeat cake based on nougat.
In France the main Christmas meal called Le reveillon is served after midnight mass on Christmas eve. The menu for this include pate de foie gras oysters or other shell fish. Game roast goose or turkey stuffed with chestnuts and truffles are traditional. Whatever the glories of the Christmas spread the spread must include a dish of black pudding. The following dish which comes from Normandy region combines the traditional ingredients : goose and black pudding garnished with small red apples.
In Switzerland all major cities hold Christmas markets. Stalls serve steaming mugs of mulled wine and traditional rum punch and melted Swiss cheese on rustic bread.
In Scandinavian countries Christmas is celebrated most joyously. From St Lucias's day until well into New Year. The table is laden with rich cakes, biscuits, with numerous dishes of cold picked fish, meats salads and cheese. The Christmas meal is served on Christmas eve with roast goose, duck or the popular loin of pork which has a crisp crackling.
In Poland the families follow the tradition of breaking an oplalek a thin wafer made of wheat flour and water. The Christmas eve meal features fish, sauerkraut, potato pancakes and beetroot soup.
In Russia some people fast on Christmas eve until the first star appears in the sky. People then eat Sochivo or kutia a porridge made from wheat or rice served with honey poppy seeds fruit chopped walnuts and sometime even fruit jellies.
In USA Christmas is one big celebration. It has many different traditions and ways that people celebrate because of its multicultural nature. The preparation of food includes roast turkey, beef, ham or pork. Common desserts are pumpkin pie, plum pudding, coconut cake and pecan pie.
In Canada too the traditions varies and Christmas is celebrated people getting together. The meal with stuffed or dressed roast turkey, potatoes, selection of vegetables and cranberry sauce plum or Christmas pudding are eaten.
Latin Americans celebrate Christmas by having late supper after returning from mid night mass. The meals include hallacas which are corn meal pies stuffed with chicken, pork, beef and spices.
In Australia & Newzeland Christmas comes during summer. People go in for cold turkey and ham along with seafood and salads. The traditional Christmas plum pudding is served with cold custard, ice cream or cream.
The African and Asian countries celebrate Christmas by following western customs as attending religious service, giving presents, singing carols and decorating Christmas trees and having a big spread of meal.
Its needless to say how Christmas is celebrated in Jerusalem and Bethlehem the birth place of baby Christ. Jerusalem is known as the city of three Christmases.
P.S: It would be lovely if readers can kindly share their customs, traditions and special preparations for Christmas menu here at Crystal grandeur. Thank you:)
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