‘Tis the season for food and more food! Here in America we have many Christmas food traditions and some may even represent your families heritage. Many countries have their own traditional holiday food traditions from pies to special breads that help to signify Christmas. Here are a few examples of some traditional holiday dishes from around the globe:

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Mince Pie

In England Mince Pies are as traditional during the holiday’s as pumpkin pie is to us in the States on Thanksgiving. Mince pies can be traced back to the 13th century when European crusaders would return with exotic ingredients such as cinnamon and other Middle Eastern meats and fruits. Though the pie has changed throughout the years it is still a favorite holiday treat to many in England.

Fish

Rather than a ham or roast, in Italy they feast on fish! Christmas in Sicily and Southern Italy means the Feast of the Seven Fishes. This stems back to Italy’s deep Catholic roots and is a true celebration of the area’s thriving fishing industry. Dishes from codfish to calamari are traditional dishes that are served for Christmas in the southern parts of Italy.

Melomakarona

In Greece, many fast before Christmas and feast once the day arrives. One traditional item served during this feast are melomakarona, which are honey-soaked cookies topped with ground walnuts. A more recent variation of melemakarona is that the cookies are dipped in dark chocolate as well. Yum!

Babka

A popular holiday dessert made in Poland is babka, which is a type of sweet bread that is served during the Christmas season. In Poland, families usually have their Christmas feasts on Christmas Eve and usually will set an extra seat for a lone wanderer who might pass through during dinner.

Roast Pig

In the Philippines it is a common practice to roast a whole pig for the Christmas feast. Christmas festivities are a big deal in the Philippines and start on December 16th and span until Christmas Eve with daily masses and a huge feast after mass on Christmas Eve.

Bûche de Noël

This traditional French dessert originated from the ancient Celtic tradition of celebrating the winter solstice. This dessert is made to look like a log, which was a symbol of rebirth. This cake is usually served after Christmas dinner in France, is similar to a yule log cake in the States.

Don’t be afraid to embrace your heritage this Christmas and add a new dish to the menu! And remember, Sparkle Market has all the items to make your holiday meal more festive!

 

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