Christmas is finally here and what better way to celebrate this festive occasion than with some good food? While we eagerly wait for Santa to fill our lives with joy, the same happiness is offered by the traditional food that we prepare and serve. Of course, holiday time means that there are no diets to be followed and no restriction at all - just pure indulgence. Here are the best traditional Christmas dishes from across the world that will put you in the right mood, suggesting what you should be exactly eating and preparing to make the most of this festive season. Consider this your guide to A to Z of Christmas.
A- Apple Cider
This drink is well-known in the United States and parts of Canada as an unfiltered, unsweetened, non- alcoholic beverage made from apples. It is a little tangier than filtered apple juice and is usually pressed in local mills.(Also read: Can Apple Cider Vinegar Help You Lose Weight?)
Apple cider is a non alcoholic beverage. Photo Credit: Istock
B- Bread Pudding
This is a bread-based dessert, which is originally from England but it is popular in many other countries as well. Traditionally, it is made of stale bread, milk and eggs with a variety of other ingredients. The bread is soaked in the milk with other ingredients and then baked golden.
C- Cranberry Sauce
This is a sauce or relish made with fresh cranberries. It is served during the Christmas dinner in United Kingdom with roast turkey. The sweet and sour flavour is loved by many.
Diples or Thiples is a Greek dessert, made up of thin sheets of flour. The dough is rolled and folded and then fried in hot oil. Finally, it is dipped in sugar or honey syrup and then served. The dough can be shaped into various forms - the most popular being bow ties.
It is a rich and creamy beverage traditionally made with milk, sugar, cream and eggs and is served chilled. It is most popular in the United States during Christmas but people enjoy it all along the holiday season.
(Also read: How to Make Homemade Eggnog)
It is a moist cake made with candied or dried fruits, nuts and spices. Making the fruit cake is a popular Christmas tradition observed all around the world. The nuts are usually soaked in rum well in advance that adds a nice kick to the cake.
As the name suggests, gingerbread is flavoured with ginger and a host of other spices such as cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon. It is sweetened with honey, sugar and molasses. You can use the batter to make a lovely gingerbread cake or turn it into a batch of gingerbread cookies.
H- Hot Chocolate
Also known as hot cocoa, this wonderful beverage needs no introduction. There's nothing better than curling up with a hot chocolate and enjoying the cold weather.
I- Irish Stew
This wholesome main dish is made with meat and seasonal root vegetables. The warm stew is often served as a part of the Christmas dinner. It originated in Ireland and the recipe might vary from region to region but it is usually made with lamb meat.
This is a Norwegian soft drink, made with strawberries and raspberries. Since it is non-alcoholic, a lot of kids and teenagers enjoy this drink on Christmas. As for the adults, you'll often find them sipping the traditional Juleol (Christmas Ale).
This is a traditional Danish and Norwegian dessert. It is made in a form of concentric rings of cakes, each layered over the other trying to make a cone shape. Traditionally, it is an 18-layered cake with snowy white frosting.
This is similar to ginger bread and the flavour varies from spicy to sweet. It originated in Germany and uses lots of honey, spices and nuts.
M- Mulled Wine
This is a warm alcoholic beverage, made with red wine, spices and some herbs as well. It is believed to have been created by the Romans to protect themselves from the cold winters during Christmas time and the tradition has continued over the years.
N- Nut Roast
It is eaten during the British style roast dinner and is a rich vegetarian dish consisting of nuts, grains, vegetable oils, broth and butter.
Nut roast is eaten during the British style roast dinner.
O- Oyster Stew
It is a stew made up of oysters and is popular in the United States. It is prepared on Christmas eve to ring in the festival.
P- Pigs in Blanket
Pigs in blanket is made in different ways in different countries. In the United Kingdom, it is eaten as an appetizer before the Christmas dinner. It consists of small sausages wrapped in bacon and that's why the name.
It is a short bread type biscuit that is believed to have originated in Iran. It is made up of sugar, almond flour, egg white and vanilla.
R- Rum Balls
It is a truffle-like confectionery flavoured with chocolate and rum. These are extremely popular during the holiday season in the United Kingdom, Australia, United States, Bulgaria and New Zealand.
S- Sugar Plum
It is a piece of hard candy made up of chocolate and rum. Plum in the name doesn't mean that it contains plum but it means that the shape of this candy is like a plum. It is small and round.
It is of Spanish origin and has two hidden surprises inside it - a dried fava bean and a tiny figurine of one of the three kings. Whoever gets the figurine in their cut gets to wear a paper crown and whoever gets the dried fava bean has to pay for the tortell - goes the tradition.
They are small dumplings usually filled with wild forest mushrooms and minced meat. A vegetarian version is also made and served with butter and herbs as a Christmas eve tradition in Poland.
It originated in Austria. It is a small crescent-shaped biscuit originally made up of walnuts but sometimes it consists of almonds or hazelnuts as well with a heavy dusting or powdered sugar all over it.
It is a hot mulled punch made with spices like cinnamon, sugar, nutmeg and ginger. It is a medieval Christmas drinking ritual intended to ensure a good apple cider harvest the following year.
Y- Yule Log
It is a traditional dessert served on Christmas and is believed to have originated in France. It is made with genoise, generally baked in a large shallow Swiss pan, iced, rolled and then, iced again on the outside. A bark type structure is made by dragging a fork through the icing and sugar is sprinkled over it resembling the snow.
It is known to have originated in Italy and is made up of anchovies and fried potatoes. The word Zeppole or Zipppuli literally translates into fried dough or doughnuts. These are traditionally enjoyed in Southern Italy and Rome.
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