Between the Christmas hams and boozy punches, the holidays are all about feasting. And feast we certainly do, all over the world. While we know what we’re eating for our Christmas dinner, we wondered what the holiday table looked like around the world.
Feast of the Seven Fishes (Sicily, Italy)
Though the traditional Sicilian “Feast of the Seven Fishes” did include seven dishes of seafood, the amount and type of fish eaten in Sicily today varies — The most important thing is that at least some fish is included in the meal that is traditionally enjoyed on Christmas Eve. The original idea of serving seven dishes is said to be linked to the number of days God required to create the world. Any excuse to scoff down seven dishes…
Traditionally eaten on the morning of Christmas Day (or even throughout December if you’re really keen) riisipuuro is a porridge made by cooking rice in milk, similar to rice pudding (it even sounds like it when you say it). The porridge is often eaten with cinnamon, a nob of butter, and milk. A Christmas tradition is also to put an almond in the pot of porridge, with the person picking out the almond in his or her serving of riisipuuro receiving a wish, or as some people view it, the chance to get married in the near future.
Bûche de Noël (France)
This classic French Christmas dessert originates from an ancient Celtic tradition of celebrating the winter solstice. When the Winter Solstice landed, the Celts would search for a large tree trunk to burn. That’s because the burning log was a symbol of the rebirth of the sun and an offering of thanks to the sun for returning to the Earth. Fast-forward to the present day and the big log was replaced by a smaller branch. This was set in the middle of the dinner table, surrounded by sweets. The branch inspired pastry chefs to create the classic cake, which we now know as Bûche de Noël. This is often served after Christmas dinners in France.
Champurrado is a thick and creamy hot chocolate drink, traditionally enjoyed on Christmas Eve in Mexico. The main ingredients in Champurrado are corn flour and Mexican chocolate, and some variations call for milk, water, or both. For extra flavour, cinnamon or anise can also be added.
These stuffed cabbage rolls are enjoyed all year-round in Romania, but are especially popular around the Christmas and Easter holidays. The boiled cabbage rolls are traditionally packed with pork, beef, and rice, and boiled in tomato sauce. Similar variations can be found across the Balkans and Central Europe.
So, that’s it for our Festive Feast special! Whatever you are having for your Christmas Feast this year, we hope that you enjoy it! Merry Christmas!