10 Traditional Christmas Foods From Around the World

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Think everyone around the world eats ham and prime rib on Christmas? Guess again
Lechon

Photo Modified: Flickr / Alpha / CC BY-SA 4.0

Lechon, or roast suckling pig, is a Filipino Christmas staple.

On Christmas, many Americans will pile into the car and head off to Grandma’s or Aunt Susie’s for Christmas dinner, which will most likely involve some expected dishes: ham, turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, gingerbread cookies, and the usual cast of characters. But as you might expect, these dishes aren’t the norm on Christmas tables all around the world.

10 Traditional Christmas Foods From Around the World (Slideshow)

While Christmas dinner wouldn’t look too different from what you’re used to in Canada or the United Kingdom (save for the appearance of mince pies or Christmas pudding on the table), things begin to look pretty different once you travel beyond English-speaking countries. In Romania, for example, traditional Christmas dinner includes piftie (aspic with pork and vegetables), cârnaţi (pork sausages), and sarmale (pickled meat-stuffed cabbage rolls). In Portugal, bacalhau (dried and salted cod) is a main component, along with roasted goat and lamb and boiled octopus. And in Jamaica, traditional Christmas dinner includes curry goat, rice and peas, and a heavy fruit cake made with wine and rum.

Christmas is one of the biggest worldwide celebrations of the year. When we get together with friends and family to celebrate, we usually eat dishes that are near and dear to our hearts. The foods we eat on Christmas aren’t just ones that we enjoy, they’re ones that are steeped in history and tradition. F jamaicaamilies around the world put dishes on their Christmas table that no Christmas dinner would be without. While those dishes may vary from culture to culture and from family to family, they all have that in common.

So read on to learn what’s on the Christmas dinner table in 10 countries around the world, including Germany, Italy, and Poland. They may be different from what you’re used to, and some can be pretty unexpected, but tradition is tradition, and a lot of these dishes also happen to sound downright delicious.

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