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Thursday, 1 December 2022

Christmas dinner across the globe

Xmas food from around the world: Widen your culinary horizons this year with weird and wonderful holiday season dishes from different countries.

Scoop up loads of flavor with some Ethiopian cuisine: In Ethiopia, Christmas Day (which is celebrated on 7 January) means a platter of spicy meats and vegetables served on injera flatbread to break the fast. Colorful and packed with loads of flavor, Ethiopian cuisine rarely disappoints. Injera has almost the same consistency as a crepe, making it the perfect edible spoon for your meal.

Or a whole lot of sweet and savory out of Brazil: Brazilians are known to decorate their Christmas turkeys with local fruits and sweet garnishes. Garlic kale, salted cod, salada de maionese (a variation on potato salad with raisins and apple slices), rice, and nuts are also paired with the bird for a sweet and savory overload. For dessert, panettone and a Brazilian French toast known as rabanada are also favorites.

Christmas in Iceland means lots of delicious baked goods: Icelandic baking around Christmastime is fit to drool over. The thinly sliced wafer bread known as laufabrauð (meaning leaf bread) is a standout in Icelandic Christmas cuisine. For mains, hangikjöt (smoked lamb) and rjúpa (a type of seabird) are staples.

Try some meat-free Polish cuisine: In Poland, a 12-dish dinner including beetroot soup, carp, pierogi (filled dumplings), and a selection of fruit and poppy seed desserts are typically on the menu on Christmas eve.

Bibingka is the star on the night before Christmas in the Philippines. The doughy rice-flour cake is typically prepared over hot coal after midnight mass on christmas. The most basic version of this cake consists of coconut milk, butter, and eggs, but in its more decadent form it can be served with melted cheese, salted duck egg, and coconut shavings.

In Venezuela, an age-old food tradition runs strong during the holiday season. Hallacas, which combine indigenous, European, and African cuisine into one steamed package of goodness, are made by combining meat, raisins, capers and olives in cornmeal dough and wrapping it all inside plantain leaves.

Some more eccentric holiday foods: In Lithuania, a dessert dish known as spit cake is popular over Christmas. The cakes — which do not, in fact, contain saliva — are made by layering batter on a skewer spinning over an open flame, kind of like a horizontal shawarma. The outcome is a pastry that resembles an icy Christmas tree. There’s also the Portuguese Lampreia de Ovos — a centuries-old recipe for cake made with no less than 50 egg yolks, molded in the shape of a horrifying yellow eel. Then there’s the Belgian Christmas bread, Cougnou, which is basically your average brioche, but comes either shaped like a baby or with a baby figurine made of sugar stuffed inside.

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