Something Different From Around The World At Christmas

Have you ever thought about trying a totally different Christmas Day meal? How about trying a much loved Christmas dish from another part of the world? We take a look at a few other Christmas Day food traditions from other countries.

The Netherlands

At Christmas time in the Netherlands gourmetten is a popular and traditional way to eat. A family or group of friends will sit around a small table with a stove and miniature frying pans. Here, they drink fine wines and chat while cooking different types of meat, fish, prawns and shrimps, along with crisp vegetables, salads, fruits and sumptuous sauces.

Gourmetten is all about convenience—the kids won't get bored with all those teensy pans and miniature foods, and the host can sit back and relax at the table. Every person must cook their own meal.


Pork Vindaloo is a Goan dish which evolved from Portuguese roots and has a unique flavour that is a great example of India's cultural history and eaten at Christmas.

This dish is known locally in Goa as 'Vindahlo' which translates to 'vin' or vinegar and 'ahlo' which is the Portuguese word for garlic resulting in a wonderfully spiced pork and garlic stew dish.

The Portuguese arrived in India in the 1500's bringing with them chillies from Latin America, as well as some of their European influences such as wine and, being Christian, Pork also became an inherent part of the cuisine of Goa.


The most important of the festive meals, Christmas Day lunch can last for hours. Christmas Day lunch begins with a classic antipasto spread featuring dry cured meats, salumi, fine Italian cheeses, briny olives, artichokes and more. The first course is pasta that varies by region. In Southern and Central Italy, baked pasta is a must. In Northern Italy, Lasagne Bolognese and filled pasta like manicotti and ravioli are traditional Christmas fare. Next comes the main event roasted veal, baked chicken, sausages or braised beef are common Christmas Day entrées worth celebrating.


In Hungary, Christmas Eve is spent with the immediate family and possibly a few very close friends. It is the time for the traditional Hungarian Christmas dinner. As a relic of the former church tradition of fasting for Advent, it is still traditional for fish to be eaten by many Hungarian families on Christmas Eve — often in the form of a fish soup. Popular desserts with poppy seeds, such as the poppy seed roll and, in many places, noodles with poppy seeds or poppy seed pudding, recall an even older tradition. The innumerable tiny seeds were originally meant as a fertility charm, to ensure a plentiful harvest in the coming year at the winter solstice. On the first and second day of the Christmas holiday, Christmas turkey, turkey with chestnut stuffing or stuffed cabbage are served. Celebration soup, sausages, and roast pork may also be served with the usual potato and vegetable sides.


Christmas in Mexico is a time for family, tradition, and eating. There are many Mexican Christmas traditions, but one of the most important is the meal itself. This can change from family to family, depending on the region of Mexico you are in. This vegan mexican menu is similar to what a Mexican family might have for their Christmas Eve dinner. Tamales are pockets of masa filled with stews, vegetables, or fruits. They are most commonly wrapped in a corn husk or banana leaf, and then steamed. Pozole is a soup served as a celebratory dish throughout Mexico. There are white, red, and green varieties, depending on the chile sauce used to season the soup. A vegan version can be made with jackfruit or mushrooms. Buñuelos are sweet and crunchy orange scented fritters served on Christmas Eve. They are two types: buñuelos de viento, and buñuelos de rodilla. Buñuelos de viento are formed into shapes and dusted with powdered or cinnamon sugar, while buñuelos de rodilla are rolled out like a tortilla then fried and dusted with cinnamon sugar.