1. Toshikoshi soba - Japan
Also called 'New Year's Eve Noodles', this traditional dish is eaten just before midnight on New Year's Eve in Japan. This bowl of delicious buckwheat noodles is easy to break while eating and hence symbolizes “breaking off the old year” or letting go of the hardships of the year. Their thin, long shape is also synonymous with a long and healthy life.
2. Risalamande - Denmark
The most popular Danish Christmas dessert, Risalamande is a delightfully creamy almond rice pudding served with vanilla whipped cream. Cherry sauce is added to enhance its color. The dish is generally served during dinner after the main course.
3. Puto bumbóng - The Philippines
Puto bumbóng is a Filipino purple rice cake steamed in bamboo tubes. It's an immensely popular Christmas season dessert and is usually served in the morning. It's made of a special type of steamed black glutinous rice called “pirurutong” and typically served with margarine, grated coconut, and palm sugar granules.
4. Jansson’s temptation - Sweden
Jansson’s temptation or Janssons frestelse is a creamy potato and anchovy casserole. This traditional treat is a great hit in Sweden during the Christmas season and is made of layered potatoes, anchovies, onions, pickled sprats, bread crumbs, and heavy cream.
5. Escargot - France
The word Escargots literally translates to “edible snail". It has become one of the most iconic French delicacies that is usually served as an appetizer during the winter. The snails are removed from their shells and cooked with garlic butter, chicken stock, or wine.
6. Oliebollen - The Netherlands
The name of this dish can be literally translated as “oil balls.” This traditional Dutch delicacy is commonly eaten during winter and is also known as Dutch Doughnuts. They are basically deep-fried fluffy pastries and they are generally filled with raisins, currant, and apple, and served with sugar icing.
7. Eight-Treasure Rice - China
This traditional Chinese New Year dessert is made from sweetened sticky rice and topped with dried red dates, lotus seeds, plums, winter melon, dried longan, red bean paste, various beans, and nuts.
8. Tamales - Mexico
Tamales are a traditional Mexican dish made with a corn-based dough mixture that is wrapped in a banana leaf and steamed. They are usually filled with various meats, cheese, veggies, and chili peppers.
9. Mince Pies - Ireland
While this dessert originally came from England, it's extremely famous in Ireland too and savored during the Christmas period. Although the pies are filled with what is known as ‘mincemeat’ there is no actual meat in it. Instead, the fillings include a lavish mixture of fruit, nuts, spices, and fat.
10. Crepe tower - Argentina
This Argentinean dish is traditionally served on Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve and consists of alternating layers of ham, cheese, lettuce, and tomato that are sandwiched between thin crepes.
11. Feast of the Seven Fishes - Southern Italy
As the name suggests, this traditional Italian dish consists of 7 different fish dishes. This tradition of eating fish on Christmas Eve comes from the Roman Catholic custom of abstaining from eating meat on the eve of certain holidays, including Christmas. It is also known as Festa Dei Sette Pesci or La Vigilia.
12. Poppy milk - Lithuania
This dessert is either taken from a glass or eaten like a soup and is one of the dishes that is eaten during a traditional Lithuanian Christmas Eve dinner. The poppy seeds get boiled in hot water and then strained. To make the drink more enjoyable, sugar and some poppy seed pastries are mixed into it.
13. Herring under a fur coat - Russia
This unique Russian salad consists of layers of herring, boiled potatoes, carrots, apples, and onions, and is usually topped with beetroots and mayonnaise. The beetroots are what give the dish its lovely purple color. Herring under a fur coat is eaten widely during Russian New Year celebrations and is one of the most well-known treats of the country.
See Also: You've Got to Try these Delicious and Comforting Winter Salads
14. Aletria - Portugal
Aletria is a Portuguese Sweet Pasta dessert made from fine vermicelli, milk, eggs, and sugar. A traditional Portuguese Christmas dish, it's a favorite for kids of all ages and especially those who love pasta.
15. Piftie - Romania
Piftie is a delicious Romanian pork jelly made from pig's trotters, rind, ears, and tail. The mixture is peppered with lots of garlic and put into a meat stock. Once properly refrigerated, the stock turns into jelly and the dish is then served as an appetizer during the Christmas meal.
16. Wreath Cake - Norway
Also known as kransekake, the wreath cake is the signature cake of Norway that has been around since the 18th century and is generally baked during Christmas, and New Year’s Eve or on special occasions. This showstopping confection is made out of eighteen delicate almond flour cookie rings that are layered on top of each other like a tower. Sugar icing only makes it tastes yummier!
17. Rabanada - Brazil
The Rabanada is a Brazilian variation of the French Toast that is served during the Christmas and New Year's celebrations. It is made with crusty bread which is soaked in sweetened condensed milk, and coated in beaten eggs. The preparation is then deep-fried in oil. Rabanadas are traditionally sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon.
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