It’s time for festive movies, mulled wine, your out-of-office message and delicious food… Merry Christmas Eve! Last week, the normals reviewed mind-blowing Christmas dinners from around the world – they then had to guess which country they were from and the winner took a point. Typically, Christmas dinner in the UK consists of turkey, roast potatoes, stuffing, veg and all the sides! Well, fasten your seatbelts because we’re about to take a quick trip around the world and find even more incredible Christmas food destinations to fly into…
Spain: Sopa De Galets
A carb lovers foodie dream… Sopa De Galets is large shell-shaped pasta which is eaten in a soup form around the festive holidays! The pasta shells are stuffed with meatballs and served in a big bowl of broth. Traditionally, there’s also a second plate with meat, chickpeas, and vegetables that you boil up in the process – prep time can be around 3 hours.
In Barcelona, locals are so proud of their delicious galets that the city puts up giant sculptures of them as part of the holiday light displays. The best part about galets is that given the large portion they’re sold in, they’re perfect for catering for many with plenty left for the next day.
If we had to describe Kucios in one word, it’d be EPIC. We’re talking 12 mouth-watering dishes on the table for an unforgettable Christmas Eve dinner!
According to history, the 12 dishes symbolise each month of the year and are made to be enjoyed with your closest. The table is commonly covered with a white tablecloth, and hay, whilst celebrating what nature has given us in the form of grains, seeds, nuts, dried fruit, fish and vegetables.
The most important dishes on the Kūčios table are kūčia; a boiled cereal dish rich with dried fruit, honey, and kūčiukai – dough-based sweet nuggets served with poppy seed milk!
Ethiopia: Rooster Doro Wat
Did you know that Orthodox Ethiopians celebrate Christmas, aka Genna, on 7th January? The festivities begin with a 43-day fast (starting 25th November), which is broken by their iconic dish, Rooster Doro Wat! This dish is a tender, flavourful chicken stew accompanied by hard-boiled eggs. The way to achieve the best Rooster Doro Wat is an Ethiopian spice mix called Berbere – just a couple of ingredients include fenugreek, cardamom, coriander, black pepper, garlic and so much more!
The chicken meat for this dish is bought from outdoor markets, and usually gets soaked in water, salt and lemon juice to avoid any lingering bacteria. Once this is done, it’s cut into eight – twelve pieces. To add that final bit of finesse, hard-boiled eggs are added to the stew a couple of minutes before which helps to absorb all of the spicy goodness.
Now, we move on to the Philippines! Christmas dinner, aka Noche Buena, is typically held after families and loved ones attend Misa de Gallo (Mass of the Rooster). Lechon (which takes inspiration from the Spanish language), is a roasted suckling pig and is one of the most classic dishes in the country. The pig is roasted for hours until the meat inside is succulent and the skin reaches the right level of crispiness.
Lechon is so good that there is an annual festival on June 24th in Batangas, which came about to pay homage to St John the Baptist. The celebrations can last up to 2 weeks, where of course, Lechon is served as a main dish!
Yes, you read that right… In Japan, ‘tis the season for Kentucky Fried Chicken! Whilst not everyone in Japan enjoys this during Christmas time, a whopping 3.6 million Japanese families eat KFC on Christmas Eve. In fact, they even reserve their meals two months beforehand.
I absolutely loved researching this – it gets even more interesting. The ‘KFC Japan’ spokeswoman, Motoichi Nakatani, stated that this tradition began because of Takeshi Okawara (the manager of the first KFC in the country which opened in 1970). One night, Okawara was dreaming of food… And what came to him was game-changing. His wish was to come up with a ‘party barrel’ that would be available on Christmas, which was inspired by foreigners coming into a branch and mentioning missing a classic turkey dinner for the season. It was then that he realised fried chicken could be the PERFECT substitute.
Have a lovely Christmas and see you in the New Year!
Sorted Food x