Holiday Foods from Around the World

Belle Akeredolu ‘24

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Holidays are all about friends, family, and especially food! During these special times, each country has its own traditions and traditional dishes to eat, each of which combines a piece of its culture and history into their cuisine. We'll explore nine different countries from around the world and their traditional Holiday meals.


Sweden - Lussebulle 


Lussebulle is like a teacake, is a rich, spiced yeast-leavened sweet bun flavored with saffron and filled with dried fruit such as currants and raisins. Plain flour, butter, yeast, caster sugar, currants, and sultanas are the key components. The buns are made in a variety of traditional forms, the most basic of which being a S-shape. They're usually consumed throughout Advent, especially on December 13th, Saint Lucy's Day.

Germany - Christstollen


Christstollen is a fruit bread made with nuts, spices, and dried or candied fruit that is dusted with powdered sugar or icing sugar and frequently contains marzipan. As soon as the bread comes out of the oven, it is coated with melted unsalted butter and rolled in sugar, resulting in a moister product that keeps better. The marzipan rope in the center is just decorative. For a better tasting bread, the dried fruits are cooked down in rum or brandy. It's a classic German bread that's consumed around the holidays.


Nigerian - Gizdodo


Gizdodo is a Nigerian dish made from plantains, gizzards (organs found in animals' digestive tracts), and plantains combined with pepper sauce. Deep-fried boiled gizzards and mixed fried plantains are poured over a boiling pepper and tomato sauce. Onions, green bell peppers, yellow bell peppers, and orange bell peppers are tossed in. Served with Jollof Rice or Fried Rice on the side. It is customarily served during all holidays and celebrations.


Pakistani - Jalebi -  جلیبی


Jalebi (جلیبی) is made by deep-frying a maida flour (simple flour or all-purpose flour) mixture into pretzel or circular forms, then soaking them in sugar syrup. This dessert is delicious hot or cold. They have a chewy texture and a sweet crystalline outer layer. Citric acid or lime juice, as well as rose water, are occasionally added to the syrup. They're a common dessert served at public gatherings like weddings and festivals.


Syrian - Kibbeh - كبة


Kibbeh (كبة)  is usually made with bulgur wheat and meat pounded into a fine mixture, then rolled into balls with toasted pine nuts and spices. It can also be served raw, stacked and cooked on a platter, deep fried, grilled, or grilled. This dish is popular among the Syrian Jewish diaspora during Passover and as a pre-fast meal on the day before Yom Kippur.


China - Yuebing - 月饼


Mooncakes (月饼) is a thick, soft pastry skin wrapping a sweet, dense filling like Lotus seed paste, sweet bean paste, Jujube paste, or Five kernels or mixed nuts, and may contain an entire salted egg yolks in their core, which represents the full moon. Mooncakes are only offered steamed or fried on rare occasions. The Chinese characters for "longevity" or "harmony," as well as the name of the bakery and the filling within, are imprinted on the top of traditional mooncakes. It is customary to consume them during the Mid-Autumn Festival.


Korean - Songpyeon - 비트송편


Songpyeons (비트송편) are rice cakes with sweet or semi-sweet ingredients, such as soybeans, cowpeas, chestnuts, jujubes, dates, red beans, sesame seeds, or honey, are half-moon shaped. They're cooked over a covering of pine needles, giving them a unique flavor and the scent of freshly cut pine needles. It's a rice powder-based traditional Korean dish. It's a sort of tteok, or miniature rice cakes, that's usually served during Chuseok, Korea's autumn harvest festival.


Brazil - Bacalhau


Bacalhau is a cooked fish dish that is frequently eaten with potatoes and accompanied by green wine (vinho verde) or mature wines (Alentejo wine, Dão wine, or Douro wine). However, depending on the area and culture, there are different bacalhau recipe variants. Because of the church, this meal is popular in Brazil and other Roman Catholic nations. On certain days, such as Fridays, Lent, and other holidays, the Church prohibited the consumption of meat. On those days, this meal is customarily served.


Venezuela - Hallacas


Hallaca is a Venezuelan tamal. It's made using corn bread packed with a stew of beef, hog, or chicken, as well as raisins, capers, and olives. Hallacas are cooked plantain leaves folded in half and wrapped with strings. They are usually offered during the Christmas season and come in a variety of regional variations in Venezuela. It has been referred to as Venezuela's national dish.

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