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Holiday Food Traditions: Festive Dishes from Around the World

Celebrate Around the World with Festive Dishes

The holidays are a time for celebrating traditions, bringing families together, and enjoying iconic seasonal dishes. Each culture has its own special holiday foods that are prepared year after year. These special meals transport us back to childhood and connect us to generations past through recipes passed down for decades or even centuries. 

Let’s explore some of the most popular festive fare from around the world:

France – Bûche de Noël

  • This festive Yule log cake originated in France and is a beloved Christmas dessert.
  • It’s made of rolled sponge cake or genoise filled with chocolate or chestnut buttercream, iced to look like a log.
  • Decorations like meringue mushrooms or marzipan holly leaves finish the presentation.
  • Enjoy this cake as part of Réveillon, the French Christmas Eve feast.

Mexico – Tamales

  • Tamales are a Christmas Eve tradition in Mexico, as well as other Central American countries.
  • They are made of masa or corn dough stuffed with fillings like pork, chicken, cheese, or beans.
  • Tamales are wrapped in corn husks or banana leaves and steamed until tender.
  • Families gather to make dozens or even hundreds of tamales to share on Nochebuena.

Sweden – Julbord

  • Julbord is a traditional Christmas buffet in Sweden with both sweet and savory dishes.
  • It includes baked ham, meatballs, pickled herring, salmon, cheeses, breads, and more.
  • Desserts range from baked goods to rice pudding and fruit soups.
  • The smörgåsbord starts small on Dec. 1 and builds up to a grand finale on Christmas Eve.

Greece – Melomakarona

  • These Greek Christmas honey cookies are dipped in a spiced syrup after baking.
  • Their name means “honey macaroons” and they are crisp on the outside and soft inside.
  • Melomakarona is flavored with olive oil, orange zest, cinnamon, cloves, and nuts.
  • Greeks enjoy them with tea or coffee starting on Saint Nicholas Day.

India – Gujiya

  • Gujiya is a sweet, fried dumpling enjoyed during Diwali celebrations in India.
  • Fillings include dried fruits and nuts, coconut, or khoya reduced milk solids.
  • The pastries are shaped into half moons, fried, and soaked in sugar syrup.
  • Friends and families exchange gujiya when visiting each other’s homes for Diwali.

Join Us For Home-Style Comfort Food at Thurmont Kountry Kitchen

This holiday season, bring your family together for a cozy meal at Thurmont Kountry Kitchen. Our family-owned restaurant in Thurmont, MD, has been serving up delicious comfort food using local ingredients since 1984. 

Let us handle the cooking so you can relax and focus on spending quality time with your loved ones. We look forward to welcoming your whole family for a delicious meal filled with cozy holiday cheer.