Foodie Corner: Holiday Dishes From Around the World

This holiday season is like no other, so it is more important than ever to find new ways to connect with people while staying safe. A great way to connect with people and start introducing new customs and traditions is by learning about the delicious foods other cultures may be enjoying during this holiday season. 


Gianna Schiavo, Staff Writer

England- Mince Pie 

This widely known dish has had a slight variation of ingredients over the years. Traditionally, the key were ingredients were beef or mutton, suet, some sort of dried fruit, and an assortment of spices, but more modern takes on the dish include pastry dough as the base of the pie, dried apples and raisins, distilled spirits, vegetable shortening, and a mixture of spices such as nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon. 


Iceland- Hangikjöt 

This dish is incredibly popular during Christmas in Iceland. The icelandic word translates to “hung meat,” and is typically smoked lamb or mutton. In Iceland, this is usually served with a variety of side dishes, including vegetables. 


Greece- Melomakarona 

Christmas is a big deal in Greece, so when it is time for their holiday feast, they go all out. One of the many dishes that the Greeks make during the holiday season is Melomakarona, a delicious cookie soaked in honey, and topped with crispy ground walnuts.


Italy- Lentils 

Italians go all out for their New Year’s Eve celebration, with friends and family all celebrating the new year together. One side dish that always finds its way onto the table in Italy is lentils, which supposedly bring money and prosperity. Italians eat lentils on New Year’s Eve in hopes that they will bring them wealth and success in the new year. 


Netherlands- Oliebollen

On New Year’s Eve in the Netherlands, you can always count on street carts selling these sweet treats. The Oliebollen, which vaguely resemble doughnuts, are fried dough, which typically have currants or raisins in it. To top off this treat, powder sugar is dusted on top. 


Spain- Escaldums de Nadal

A traditional Christmas feast in Spain is not complete without the classic dish Escaldums de Nadal on the table. This dish is a stew that traditionally has turkey or suckling pig in it, along with sweet dried fruit, which is all served in a sauce that has an almond taste to it. 


Israel- Sufganiyot

Sufganiyot is a traditional Hanukkah sweet treat in Israel. Sufganiyot are friend doughnuts filled with jelly, and covered in powdered sugar to enhance the sugary goodness of this treat. 


Philippines – Bibingka

This is a traditional breakfast dish served for the holidays in the Philippines. Bibingka is made of rice flour or sticky rice, coconut milk, and sugar that is wrapped and cooked in banana leaves. Eggs, cheese, and coconut flakes are sometimes added as garnishes.


Vietnam- Banh Chung

Bahn chung is a widely known and loved dish in Vietnam. It is a rice cake that is typically eaten during Tết, which is the Vietnamese New Year. The main ingredients in this dish are sticky rice, pork, mung beans, green onions, fish sauce, and a variation of spices. The Vietnamese place these in front of family altars, which allows them to praise their ancestors and offer prayers that the new year will bring good fortune. 


Ethiopia- Yebeg Wot 

This lamb stew is an extremely popular holiday dish. Yebeg Wot is made of tender lamb meat, onions, tomatoes, garlic, kibbeh, which is Ethiopian butter, and various spices. It is very common for people to serve the stew with injera, a type of flatbread. 


Canada- Butter Tarts

Although Canadians typically celebrate the holiday season with similar dishes to the US, they do have a few Christmas classics of their own. Butter tarts are a dessert with sweet filling made of butter, sugar, maple syrup, and eggs. They are sometimes made with walnuts and raisins. 


Mexico- Tamales

On New Year’s Eve in Mexico, it is nearly impossible to find a home that is not serving tamales. Tamales are eaten at almost every special occasion, and for good reason. Tamales are masa dough filled to the brim with meat, cheese, and an assortment of different delicious additions. The tamales are then wrapped in a corn husk, ready to be enjoyed during the holiday season. 


Venezuela- Hallacas

The classic, delectable hallacas are similar to Mexican tamales, and are always served for Christmas. These are made of tender meat stews, stuffed inside cornmeal dough and then steamed in plantain leaves. A salad made of diced carrots, potatoes, and mayonnaise is usually served on the side. 


Brazil- Turkey

Brazil is a highly diverse country, and the dishes served during the holiday season reflect this. The main dish is usually a turkey, which can be served with colored rice and Brazil nuts. 


Ecuador- Flan

The delicious simplicity of flan is what makes it a holiday staple in Ecuador. Flan is a custard topped with a layer of caramel that is sure to please everyone at the table. 


Australia- Prawn Laksa Skewers

These barbecue prawns are a holiday staple during the warm holiday season in Australia. The prawns are made with laksa paste, coconut milk, sunflower oil, mint leaves, fried Asian shallots, and roti. 


Australia- Lamb Marinated in Lemon, Anchovy, and Rosemary

A holiday favorite in Australia is lamb marinated in a mixture of lemon, anchovies, and rosemary. This holiday dish is made of parsley, rosemary, garlic cloves, anchovy fillets, lemon, extra virgin olive oil, and a leg of lamb. 


Disclaimer: This article pulls upon coverage from Healthline, Delish, CNN, the Travel Channel, and Delicious.