Home Lifestyle Travel What they cook at Christmas in 15 countries around the world

What they cook at Christmas in 15 countries around the world

In these celebrations the arrival of the Child Jesus is celebrated eating typical recipes of meat, fish or sweets



Christmas is a time to share and what better to do at a good table with the typical cuisine of each country. Whether at the Christmas Eve dinner or at the Christmas dinner, the countries celebrate the arrival of the Baby Jesus by sharing meat, fish, sweets and drinks. From Europe to America these are fifteen samples of what is eaten at Christmas outside of Spain.


There is no Christmas meal in France that does not have a good duck or goose foie gras that can be accompanied by oysters and seafood, as well as a cheese board.

Although in some tables tradition is the “boudin blanc” or white sausage cooked the frequent thing is to have a second course duck, turkey or pheasant.

For dessert you can not miss the “bûche de Nöel” or Christmas log, a cake shaped like a trunk made with sponge cake and chocolate buttercream and decorated with icing sugar, raspberries and fake branches.


Christmas Eve in Denmark is lived in a special way and the traditional dish is roast pork that is eaten with potatoes, purple cabbage and gravy. The roasted duck has also become a popular Christmas dish.

On December 25 nobody is left without “smorrebrod”, one of the most characteristic dishes of Danish cuisine consisting of a slice of black bread with butter and various cold ingredients that are made available to the diner. It is a kind of buffet served at noon in the style of Danish cuisine.

However, the most typical dish of Danish Christmas is the “risalamande”, a flan of rice, vanilla cream and almonds served with cherries or berries. Nor are there usually lacking in the “aebleskiver” table, fruit cakes that have a distinctive spherical shape.


In the homes of Finland, home of Santa Claus, it is typical to share roasted suckling pig as a main dish that is accompanied with a variety of fish, stews and salads.

As desserts they have a wide variety of Christmas sweets. The most famous are the cookies in the shape of a Christmas star and the cookies called «piparkakku».

As a drink, “Glögg” is placed on the table, a wine based on almonds, raisins and cinnamon, as well as Christmas beers.


traditional latvian christmas dinner
traditional latvian christmas dinner


In Sweden, the Christmas banquet is very complete. On Christmas day they eat the “julbord”, a buffet with a great variety of fish and fresh meat, among which the “julskinka” or Christmas ham and “lutfisk”, a recipe based on ling, a similar fish to cod. The buffet also includes meat dumplings, cauliflower and caramelized potatoes.

The typical dessert is the “risgrynsgrot”, a rice flan in which inside they add an almond although the Christmas candy par excellence are the classic g alletas of ginger and cinnamon .


In Portugal it is traditional to sit at the Christmas table to share a good cod accompanied with boiled cabbage, boiled potatoes, boiled eggs, chickpeas, onion, parsley and other vegetables. At the Christmas Eve dinner the protagonist is the baked turkey or the piglet. Octopus is also common in these festive meals, and sweets such as torrijas, “formigas” or “aletria”.


In Germany, the tables are decorated for Christmas with rich dishes among which the roasted goose, the suckling pig or the duck, accompanied by the classic roasted potatoes and the various forms of cabbage stand out.

In some regions there is a Christmas dinner instead of Christmas Eve, in this case, dinner on Christmas Eve is simple and consists of sausages – like Bockwurst or Wiener – and potato salad.

Sweets and Christmas cakes are almost obligatory and include marzipan, “Lebkuchen” spice tablets, various types of breads and cakes such as “Christstollen” and “Dresdener Stollen”.


Poland has a long Catholic tradition and Christmas is lived with hope. The meals and dinners around the table are of great importance and the dish that can never be missed is the bigos, traditional dish of sauerkraut, mushrooms and plums; the barszcz, the beet soup; the kutia, the pierogi, the herring and the poppy gnochis. Pierniki, honey-based sweets with very bizarre forms are also very typical.

Special mention requires the New Year’s Eve dinner where the Poles bring to the table a menu composed of 12 dishes, one for an apostle’s house and the tradition is to leave a place on the table in memory of those who are no longer there or for a guest last minute


In England, at Christmas as main courses, they usually eat oca or baked turkey. Both meat dishes are usually stuffed with chopped walnuts, beef, bacon and lard. Usually accompanied with potatoes and apples and finish the meal with sweets based on raisins and lemon.

For dessert there is the classic “Christmas Pudding“, a typical custard that hides, like our roscón de reyes, a figurine inside that will give luck to whoever finds it.


In Italy, Christmas meals or dinners, as in other parts of Europe, are different depending on the region, although there is usually no antipasto on the table, a cold appetizer that can be made with olives, salami, ham, seafood, vegetables, salads or frutas.Otra of the classic meals is gnocchi pasta one of the most famous Italian traditional recipes. It is made with flour and potato and you can add vegetables, such as pumpkin, spinach or tomatoes, to obtain other flavors and colors.

In the north of Italy they usually eat poultry, often stuffed, or roasted or boiled and seasoned with sauces, such as mostarda as well as Italian roast beef, one of the authentic recipes that are prepared at Christmas dinner.

The Christmas sweets are very varied as the Panettone, the Pandoro or the Panforte.


The Philippines are mostly Catholics and the Christmas festivity is celebrated in practically every home. It is traditional that the food of December 25 is composed of twelve dishes and has as main ingredients roast pork and ham. The typical dessert is “kalamay”, made with rice, peanut butter, brown sugar and cocco milk. The recipe changes from one region to another, and even from one province to another.


The great cultural diversity of the USA It makes that these days there are many dishes that fill the tables of American homes that already lived in November their great Thanksgiving party. It is tradition that the Christmas Eve dinner is made more informal with family, friends or neighbors who contribute their recipes to a common table.

In the Christmas meal you can not miss the turkey stuffed with vegetables and for dessert a Mince pie is the typical puff pastry dessert filled with nuts that according to tradition is the dish of Santa Claus.

Costa Rica

In Costa Rica, Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve is celebrated with afamily meal in which the main dishes are usually pork leg, ribs, pork loin, chicken or turkey accompanied by white rice, with almonds or raisins, Russian salads or of potato and mashed potato or sweet potato.

For desserts the Christmas cuisine has a main course: the tamale, of American Indian origin, usually prepared with corn dough stuffed with meats, vegetables, chilies, fruits, sauces and other ingredients, wrapped in vegetable leaves like corn on the cob or of banana, bijao, maguey, avocado, canak, among others, and even aluminum or plastic paper, and cooked in water or steamed. They can have a sweet or salty flavor.

It is also very popular consumption of Christmas cake , a cake made with flour, brown sugar, milk, butter and egg, which is filled with chopped fruits, nuts, almonds, prunes, rum and cognac. Other sweets that can also be found in Costa Rican tables are panettone, roscón de reyes, corn cakes with cheese, sweet bread, flan with caramel or dulce de leche, apples and grapes.


In Argentina, Christmas is lived in the middle of summer so the broths or soups are relegated to cold entries such as cold meats, empanadas or stuffed eggs.

As a main course you can not miss a barbecue , the typical Argentine food based on pieces of beef as ribs, matambre, vacuum, giblets like gizzards, kidneys, chitterlings or chicken that are usually accompanied by chimichurri, the traditional seasoning. Also typical is vitel toné, sliced ​​veal with tuna sauce and creamy mayonnaise.

As dessert they usually fill the table with the panettone of dried and glazed fruits, ice cream or as in Spain, the roscón de reyes.


Mexico celebrates Christmas for all. On Christmas Eve it is typical to serve the  poinsettia salad” based on apple, walnut and celery with cream, and the preparation of the turkey or turkey as it is known in Mexico, as well as the romeritos -guizo made from bread prepared with mole, potato, nopales and dried shrimp- and codTamales and champurrado are very popular.

In the center of the country they eat the enchiladas that are cooked with turkey stuffed with olives, eggs, nuts and grasses. As a dessert delight the cinnamon fritters and the mythical dulce de leche.

To offer nothing better than punch, which consists of a mixture of seasonal fruits boiled in water and sweetened to taste with piloncillo. Among the ingredients are mainly tamarind, guava, sugar cane, prune, apple, tejocote, cinnamon and water, in some areas of Mexico is also prepared by adding segments of orange. It is served hot.


The tradition at the Christmas Eve dinner is to eat the baked turkey with potatoes, salads, applesauce and fruit, other options are grilled chicken, piglet to the cylinder, lamb on the stick or grilled veal. Also provide with sparkling wine or cider and at the end the inevitable panettone with hot chocolate is served.

It is also a custom to organize on Christmas Eve the popular chocolate bars either for charity or for the whole family, neighbors or friends to gather together.


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