Christmas dishes and desserts around the world

In France, the festive table will definitely be decorated with foie gras and oysters. Dishes and desserts are rich in chestnut flavors. The main dessert is “Yule Log Cake”, decorated with chocolate ganache and meringue mushrooms. “Yule Log Cake” is traditionally a combination of white sponge-cake and chocolate cream, however, of course there are many versions of this cake in the modern kitchen.

This cake is related to the tradition of medieval northern European countries. Before Christmas, the father of the family used to go with his children to find the biggest log in the forest to light a fire for Christmas. The log should flame for at least three days as a guarantee of family prosperity for the upcoming New Year. In France, the log was soaked with wine, and therefore there was always an amazing flavor by the fireplace. The ashes were sprinkled on the ground for a fruitful harvest. A little was saved for the next Christmas for lighting a new log. As huge fireplaces ceased to exist, a large log found in the forest turned into a small, sweet, decorated cake in the middle of the Christmas table.

In Germany, the central figure of the Christmas table is a roast goose, served with local garnishes such as red cabbage, Spätzle, etc. For dessert you may have honey cookies, Speculoos and Stollen.

The history of the Christmas Stollen dates back to 700 years.

This is a sweet bread made with yeast, lots of candied peel, nuts and spices, which is presented at the festive table of every family in Germany. Stollen is baked for 2-3 weeks before Christmas, then packaged in a foil paper and stored for aging for a better texture and flavor.

In Sweden, as in other Scandinavian countries, the Christmas table is decorated with the so-called smörgåsbord style, which means a buffet-style table. Traditional dishes include salted herring, smoked salmon, bread, beet salad, cabbage, many varieties of cheese.

For dessert, they eat saffron-colored yellow buns and rice pudding.  The one who finds an almond in the heart of the pudding will get married until the next Christmas.

You won’t find meat dishes at the Christmas table in Poland. Usually, only fish and vegetable dishes are prepared: 12 traditional dishes, in honor of the 12 apostles. Traditional borshch, carp, herring, mushroom soup, stewed cabbage pickle, cabbage rolls, poppy seed cake, ginger cookies and dried fruit.  

In Japan, fast food has become an integral part of the Christmas celebration. If the rest of the world is celebrating Christmas with family, traditional dishes, the main Christmas dish of the Japanese is fried chicken legs from KFC fast food restaurants. This tradition dates back to 1974 and is the result of a successful marketing campaign. The Japanese place orders two months in advance to avoid standing in line for hours in front of the restaurants. It is also popular to order pizza for Christmas. For the last few years, pizza restaurants have been trying to establish themselves in this direction. As the demand for chicken dishes is high and pizza is associated with gatherings with friends or family, it has also been established as a Christmas dish in Japan.

For dessert, the Japanese eat white cream and strawberry cake with Christmas decorations.