In America, we usually have candy canes, gingerbread houses and hot chocolate for Christmas. Or if you celebrate Hanukkah, you might have some delicious latkes.
The rest of the world also has staple meals they rely on during the holidays. Here are just a few of them.
Singapore: Curry Devil
This dish is served on Boxing Day, which is on December 26. It consists of cabbage, cucumbers, chicken, and cocktail sausages cooked in a traditional rampah gravy. The gravy gets its famous spice through the use of red chilies, turmeric, and lemongrass.
France: oysters and foie gras
Although the French have a plethora of cuisine available to celebrate the holidays, they tend to eat a lot of oysters and foie gras during the month of December. Other things you might find on the menu could include: caviar, lobster, escargots, and scallops.
Japan: Kentucky Fried Chicken
In 1974, KFC did a lot of marketing for a Christmas meal and it became a tradition for the country. Japan is actually a very secular country and Christmas day is not a holiday, but the eating KFC stayed a tradition in the country. In fact, people make their order as much as two months in advance to beat the crowds. On New Years Day, the Japanese prefer toshikoshi soba, which consists of buckwheat noodles and is said to bring prosperity to the next year if eat before midnight.
Consisting of rice flour and coconut milk, this traditional pastry is baked in terra-cotta pots and is served on a banana leaf. It is garnished with a white cheese (kesong puti), and may sometimes include duck egg as well.
The Chinese celebrate the Lantern festival on the 15th day of the first month in the traditional Chinese calendar, which is roughly the same period in which the West celebrates Christmas. One of the most traditional dishes consists of tangyuan, boiled rice dumplings filled with red bean or black sesame paste that has been sweetened. They may be served in a bowl with the water in which the tangyuan were boiled in, and this is sometimes flavored with ginger.
Mexico: Romeritos with mole
Romeritos are an herb indigenous to Mexico that is mixed with egg whites and shrimp to make a batter. This is then cooked to look like a pancake and is doused in mole, a traditional sauce known for the elaborate way in which it is cooked. It is eaten in the days before Christmas as well, during the posadas that commemorate Mary and Joseph’s search for a place to sleep.
Italians are known for their resourcefulness and love of local foods. Eel tends to be plentiful around the holidays and that’s what makes it an easy choice for a holiday meal. It can be fried or cooked in a variety of ways.
Resembling a tamale, the hallaca is a mixture of corn flour that is stuffed with a variety of meats, including beef, chicken, pork and even pork rinds. It also includes olives and raisins, though the recipe can vary depending on who is preparing them for you. It is then wrapped in a banana leaf and boiled.
Ethiopia: Ebeg Wot
Served atop injera, Ethiopia’s fluffy and sour flatbread, ebeg wot is a stew of lamb combined with a mix of spices called berebere. It is also served along with vegetables perfect for Christmastime.
Lithuania: 12-dish spread
In Lithuania, no dairy, meat or eggs are served because locals engage in a traditional fast. The 12 dishes each represent an apostle and some of the spread may include sauerkraut-stuffed dumplings, herring with mushrooms or carrots, beet soup, and kisielius, which is a drink made of cranberries.