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Eating Christmas Dinner around the World

By JoWednesday 17th December 2014

13 desserts, anyone?

If you’re anything like me, you’ll spend the entirety of December looking forward to Christmas Day dinner, where a mouth-watering roasted turkey is served with plenty of gravy and mounds of Yorkshire puddings. Oh, and not forgetting dessert, where fruit-filled brandy soaked cakes are served with lashings of custard or cream. However, just because turkey and roast potatoes are the norm for us, doesn’t mean they are elsewhere. In this post I’ll be exploring the amazing and delicious food that is served around India, Colombia and France during the festive season. Who knows, you might even be tempted to try out one of these dishes for yourself! 


Suckling pig Suckling pig Although the fact that 2.3% of India’s population is Christian may make you think it’s less notable in this country, the percentage equates to 25-million people, meaning that Christmas is still largely celebrated in this fascinating country. After decorating their homes with mango leaves and adorning fruit trees with trinkets, families come together to tuck into a range of delicious dishes, from mutton biryani to suckling pig. A delicious Christmas biryani A delicious Christmas biryani For nibbles and sweets, many homes snack on plates of marthi, a type of flaky biscuit flavoured with cumin seeds, which can be dipped into mango, chilli or lemon chutneys. Another popular choice is the Allahabadi cake, an Indian rum cake that is filled with dried fruit, marmalade, ginger and fennel. If you’re in Goa, be sure to indulge in a handful of guijas, a type of dumpling that’s stuffed with dried fruits, coconut and a creamy ricotta-like cheese called khoya.


Slurp on a steaming bowl of ajiaco bogotano Slurp on a steaming bowl of ajiaco bogotano Both a religious and celebratory festival, Christmas in Colombia is all about the parties and food. The main meal for Christmas, known as Cena de Navidad, is eaten on Christmas Eve after midnight mass, where roasted pork or a bowl of rich, warming chicken soup called ajiaco bogotano is served. A popular choice for dessert is often natilla, a creamy pudding that is made from cinnamon, milk, hard sugar cane and cloves, which is similar to panna cotta. Natilla is generally eaten with a helping of hojuela, a type of deep-fried cake-like sweet that’s dusted with powdered sugar. Sweet natilla Sweet natilla Other festive delights include arroz con coco, a coconut rice pudding that you’ll find more of on the coast, and buñuelos, a type of round donut that is smothered in sticky, sweet syrup – yum! A bowl of exotic arroz con coco A bowl of exotic arroz con coco


Foie gras Foie gras On the evening of Christmas Eve, after visiting church for the annual festive service, many people from France return home for Réveillon, where they get to dig into their Christmas dinner.  Platters of smoked salmon, foie gras, oysters and cheeses are served at the beginning of the evening, and swiftly followed by a chestnut-stuffed roasted turkey with heaps of locally grown vegetables. Traditionally a bûche de Noël, or chocolate yule log cake, is served as dessert, but this can change depending on where in France you’re visiting. If you ever find yourself in the Provençal region of Southern France, then be sure to try the ‘thirteen desserts’, which represent Jesus and his 12 disciples. These consist of a selection of dried fruit, fresh fruit, and a range of pastries and sweets, such as Calissons d’Aix, a type of almond-shaped candied marzipan, and fried bugnes, which are fine slices of puff pastry dusted with icing sugar. Treat your kids to some fried bugnes Treat your kids to some fried bugnes

Fancy enjoying Christmas dinner somewhere else?

If these festive food traditions have got you longing to celebrate the holiday season somewhere different, then make sure you check out our fantastic destinations and itineraries today.

Have you ever spent Christmas abroad? Tell us all about it in the comments below!


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