Top 5 alternative Christmas dinners from around the world
22nd December 2016
Fancy feasting on something a little different this Christmas? Forget turkey and sprouts. Try these Christmas dinners from around the world instead
Down Under, Christmas is a very different affair. Instead of huddling around a fire drinking tasty mulled wine and nibbling on roasted chestnuts, they’re chilling out at the beach and cooking up a good old barbie.
Lamb ribs on flame (Shutterstock)
Wanderlust‘s very own resident Aussie, Peter Moore, suggests: “Some Australians are traditionalists and stick with the Christmas Roast with trimmings, even though the weather’s so hot the coloured ink from their paper crowns is running down their foreheads. We usually had a barbecued breakfast on the beach.”
Like the sound of that? Have dinner Down Under-style with an avocado and seafood salad for a starter and grilled chicken breast or steak for a main.
Christmas is a very important celebration in Honduras, not only because the population are primarily Catholic but also because it’s a traditional part of family life. In this Central American country, festive food is all about tamales. The main festivities take place on December 24.
Beef tamales and salsa (Shutterstock)
Families gather to enjoy tamales, mini parcels stuffed with anything from chicken to pork and cheese to dried fruit. Turkey tamales have becomes popular in recent years as a variation on the Honduran tradition. Once stuffed, the bundles are wrapped in plantain leaves and boiled or steam-cooked.
3. The Philippines
Filipinos are well-known for celebrating Christmas for as long as possible and for making the most of the festive fun. Instead of being held on December 25, the main feast is instead held towards midnight of Christmas Eve (or Noche Buena).
Most families begin their feast with a lechon (or roasted pig), which is often cooked over smouldering charcoals for a smoky flavour.
Roasted pig (Shutterstock)
The main course consists of a Christmas ham, served with Queso de Bola, which is quite literally a ball of cheese, with a coating of red wax, and oodles of noodles. Instead of a steaming or flaming Christmas pudding, locals tend to opt for a fresh, fruit salad to finish off their meals.
Other treats that Filipinos feast on include spring rolls stuffed with ground beef, baked-stuffed chicken, and spicy beef stew.
4. The Netherlands
Traditional Christmas dinner customs in the Netherlands differ greatly from those in surrounding countries. The Dutch call their main meal a gourmet.
Beef steak (Shutterstock)
A family or group of friends will sit around a small table top that’s set 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.
Variants on this festive feast include more typical western European dishes, such as roast beef, duck or pheasant.
A feast of dried, salted codfish accompanied by boiled cabbage, potatoes and other vegetables is devoured on December 24, when families and friends swap presents. It’s served alongside a medley of eggs, chickpeas, fresh herbs and generous amounts of olive oil, which makes for a fantastic Mediterranean-style Christmas meal.
Traditional Portuguese Christmas Dish (Shutterstock)
Variations on these main ingredients are served up and down the country. In recent years, a roasted turkey has been served as another extra meal at lunch on December 25.
What does your family serve?