7 Holiday Delicacies from around the World You Should Try Out

Fish (Sicily)

Ah! Yes, fresh healthy seafood for Christmas… Why not? You can bring Christmas in Sicily and Southern Italy into your home by joining in on the Feast of the Seven Fishes. This tradition began with the Roman Catholics in the region their Christmas Eve fast with a feast of seven (or even more) seafood dishes at the end of the day. Not sure which fish choices work? You could try out Baccalà, or salted codfish, fried smelt, and calamari. However, the healthier shrimp and cod dishes, each bursting with classic Italian flavors, are more generally accepted.

Christmas cake (Global)

Cake on a regular day is all shades of heavenly. But when it is Christmas cake, there’s kind of like a more special feel to it. It is a popular dessert around the world and this is rightly so. Christmas cake is a type of fruit cake made of flour, eggs, sugar, spices, candied cherries, dried fruit, and brandy. Yeah, you got that right… Brandy. In fact, Christmas cake is made at least 2 months ahead to allow adequate time to slowly inject brandy into the cake every 2 weeks. When it’s ready, you can top it up with marzipan icing. The best part? It doesn’t have to be Christmas to enjoy this sugary delight!

Mince Pies (England)

According to BBC America, mince pies, also known as mincemeat or Christmas pie, go all the way back to Christmastime in 13th century England. The inspiration came from new and exotic spices like nutmeg and cinnamon brought back by fighters from the Crusades. Yep, back from the war front with cookbook ideas. These spices were in turn made into a variety of dishes such as pies filled with mincemeat and dried fruits. Mince pies went on from being a mere delicacy experiment to becoming a beloved Christmas treat.

Shuba (Russia)

Unlike most of the rest of the world, Russia celebrates its Christmas Day on January 7. Weird? Well, not to Mother Russia. They operate the Orthodox Julian calendar. But enough of that textbook talk and straight into the dish. Russians eat shuba, a popular holiday season dish, comprising of ingredients such as pickled herring, hard-boiled eggs, mayonnaise, and grated vegetables like carrots, beets, potatoes, and onions. Still need some more convincing to try this out? Well, it’s an excellent source of protein, potassium, antioxidants, and vitamins A and B.

Turkey (Brazil)

People of different cultures and backgrounds live in Brazil and this is largely reflected in the nation’s cuisine. Brazil produces a large percentage of the world’s beef, but they prefer to dine on some turkey on Christmas. It still boils down to people’s inclinations though as fish or pork may be more prevalent in certain places. Besides turkey being Brazil’s main course for the holidays, they also enjoy colored rice — a popular side dish, as well as Brazil nuts. For dessert, you can enjoy everything from Italian panettone to Portuguese rabanada (fried bread sprinkled with sugar) this holiday.

Yebeg wot (Ethiopia)

It gets more interesting with this Ethiopian holiday favourite. Yebeg wot is a popular lamb stew similar to the country’s national dish, doro wat (chicken stew). Farmers have a clever strategy of feeding lambs a high-calorie diet just a few weeks to the holidays. The result of this is fatty, tender meat, which is added to a stew made of onions, tomatoes, garlic, kibbeh (Ethiopian butter), berbere spice mix, and various spices. Yebeg wot is usually eaten with injera, a popular flatbread.

Photo by Nicole Michalou from Pexels

Bûche de Noël (France)

We still have some time to slip in one more dessert into this list. Let’s go to France for this to meet bûche de Noël, also known as Yule log. This is a sweet dessert served in France during the Christmas season. It is usually made with ingredients such as heavy cream, cocoa powder, eggs, sugar, and vanilla extract. Many people decorate theirs with icing sugar and fruit. It sounds too heavenly not to try out, doesn’t it.

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Mary Scott

Mary Scott

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Mary is an Editor at the online women’s magazine, AmoMama, and is passionate about improving quality of life for the African girl child.