Food is one of the most important aspects of the holidays; it transcends cultural differences, allowing recipes to be passed down from generation to generation and enjoyed all over the world.
Israel’s Hanukkah Latkes
Because Hanukkah is the celebration of the legendary Maccabees oil that miraculously lasted eight days and nights, many Hanukkah delicacies are fried in oil as a sacred tradition. Simply put, Latkes are crispy fried potato cakes, almost comparable to hash browns, but they are unique in that they have a doughy texture in the middle and a crispy outside. A delicious sweet treat which most people are familiar with, doughnuts are also a popular dessert in Israel on Hanukkah. Israel’s version of jelly filled donuts is called Sufganiyot, a glorious combo of fried dough and fruit filling.
This timeless dish has been passed down generations all the way from the Ottoman Empire. During the winter months and Christmas time, no traditional Romanian dinner table will be without this scrumptious and hearty cabbage roll. This dish comes served as pork accompanied with rice and herbs, but generally, you can stuff anything you want inside the cabbage, making it a deliciously customizable entrée.
Unlike Romanian festivities, most holiday meals in Poland don’t have any meat, but what they lack in carnivorous entrees they make up for with Babka, a tasty sweet bread that has become an iconic Polish dessert for the holidays. For an authentic Polish meal during the holidays, the menu includes boiled potatoes, beet soup, herring with sour cream, and Babka for dessert. This tasty delight is so popular that it isn’t only limited to Jewish bakeries—you can also find it at bakeries, cafés, and grocery stores all over the world.
Philippine’s Roast Pig
In the Philippines, families roast entire pigs during the winter holidays. They use it as the centerpiece of a large table along with side dishes and entrées that are served buffet-style. The Philippine Christmas dinner is similar to Thanksgiving with turkey, but in this case, it’s even better. The most popular entrées to go along with the pig are queso de bolo, flan, and oxtail stew.
You haven’t lived until you’ve tried these! Tamales have an amazingly rich, meaty, and sometimes-spicy flavor that works conjointly to light up your taste buds like never before. You can virtually stuff whatever you want inside of the corn husk-wrapped masa, a hearty mixture made with corn. It holds all the meats and other fillings while the cornhusk retains the flavor and moisture on the inside.
Vietnamese Banh Chung
A staple in Vietnamese culture, Banh Chung is one of the most intricate holiday meals on this list. Typically eaten during New Year’s Day, this traditional dish is made with layers of pork and green beans with a side of rice. Molded into the shape of a square to represent earth (according to the ancient Vietnamese model), it is wrapped in a type of bamboo leaf. Banh Chung is among the healthiest traditions on this list while also retaining a mouthwatering taste. Because it is such an intricate recipe, it can take several people and hours of preparation to make, so it provides an amazing opportunity to bring your family together and make some memories.
This seemingly odd Italian tradition isn’t weird to Italians at all. Eel is normally eaten on Christmas Eve, but if you don’t see eel on the table (called Capitone in Italian), you will be guaranteed plenty of fish: according to Italian tradition, there should be no meat on Christmas Eve, just fish and vegetables.
The French really know how to have a good time on the holidays, which is why attending a reveillon should be on everybody’s bucket list. On Christmas, the French celebrate the holiday season with réveillon, which consists of only high-end luxury foods like lobster, oyster, and foie gras.
You don’t have to spend hours upon hours slaving away in the kitchen. If you are looking for a quick on-the-go treat, Ne-Mo’s Bakery features classic treats that can be enjoyed any time of the year!
If you think your holiday dinner tradition is the best one out there, think again because there are many different seasonal dishes that all have a unique taste. Food and holidays tie the world together; it takes family get-togethers to another level, giving everyone a chance to participate in cooking and eating an amazing home-cooked meal for the holidays.