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- Posted:Thursday, October 30, 2014
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The World's Best Christmas Food
A time for indulging and spending time with family, it’s no wonder that some of the world’s best foods make an appearance during Christmas. Here are some of the world’s most mouth-watering holiday dishes!
Christmas Pudding, England
Unlike American pudding, this dish is more like a cake than a creamy concoction. Preparations for making the perfect Christmas pudding begin early, sometimes even a year before the actual date! Dried fruits, nuts and citrus go into the thick batter. After being cooked, it should sit in a dry place until being decorated for the holiday feast. A serving of cream, brandied butter or custard is placed on top to complete the dish.
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A popular dish to grab at a German Christmas market, ‘kartoffelpuffer’ is a German-style potato pancake. Also known as ‘reibekuchen’ or ‘latkes’, these pancakes are made by frying up a batter of grated starchy potatoes, onions and spices. They are served with a variety of sides like apple sauce or sugar roasted almonds.
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Labor intensive and time consuming, tamales are a Mexican dish usually saved for special occasions, especially Christmas. Made from masa, a corn based dough, they are stuffed with shredded beef or pork before being steamed in corn husks. It’s tradition for the women of the family to get together to make the tamales, which sometimes is an all day ordeal.
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Pecan pie, United States
Although typical all over the U.S., pecan pie originates from the South. This sweet pie filling is made primarily from sugar and pecans, but sometimes with maple syrup or honey. Adding a dollop of ice cream or whipped cream completes the sugary perfection.
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Yule Log Cake, France
Popular in Francophone countries like France, Canada and Belgium, a yule log cake or ‘bûche de Noël’ is a traditional dessert in a festive shape. Formed to look like a log, sponge cake is filled with buttercream frosting or jam, then rolled and decorated. Some varieties include merengue, fruit compote and/or shaved chocolate.
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This hearty meat pie originating in Quebec is a holiday favorite for many French Canadians. Covered in a buttery pastry crust, the filling can be anything from finely diced beef, veal, pork or even wild game. Some say it’s so good that the grocery stores decided to offer it year round. Of course, everything tastes better at Christmastime.
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Pernil Asado, Colombia (and many parts of Latin America)
Pernil Asado is a tender, fall-off-the-bone pork dish popular on special occasions and Christmas around Latin America. In Colombia, the pork leg is marinated for two days in a sauce of beer, onions, garlic, achiote and cumin before being slow roasted for a few hours. Once the big festivities are over, leftovers are used for sandwiches and other shredded pork dishes.
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Mulled wine, most of Europe
For many people across Europe, there’s no better way to warm up than with a glass of mulled wine. Typically, red wine is stewed with spices such as cinnamon, cloves, star anise seed, citrus and sugar. Made at home to drink around the fire, you can also buy mulled wine at Christmas markets or on street corners in city centers during the cold winter months.
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What are your favourite Christmastime foods? Let us know in the comments...
Jessica Wray is a Californian, an over-thinker, a spicy-food lover and a serial expat. She has studied and lived in Latin America, taught English in South Korea, backpacked Asia and now lives in Madrid, Spain. Follow along with her on her blog, Curiosity Travels, as she tackles her mid-twenties all while calling different parts of the world home.
Thanks to James Petts, Maik Meid, lucianvenutian, Kimberly Vardeman, Aaron Jacobs, Dawn Huczek, Jason Lam, Jana ReifegersteLaura Bittner for the excellent images from Flickr. Please note, all were under Creative Commons license at time of publishing.