Christmas Food Traditions…….

Christmas is almost here and since I mentioned the tasty treat called kiviak in an earlier blog I figured some more Christmas food info was in order.

Christmas Day in Tokyo, Japan is KFC day. That’s right the Colonel is a hit in Japan and dates back to 1974. More buckets of chicken are ordered on Christmas Day than any other day of the year in Japan. The slogan is “Kurisumasu ni wa kentakkii!” translated as Kentucky for Christmas……..

Christmas Pickles are popular in Spain, Germany and apparently Michigan. Now this one I am a little familiar with since we hide a pickle ornament on our tree every year and whoever finds the pickle receives an extra gift. What I was not aware of is Berrien Springs, Michigan is billed as the Christmas Pickle Capital of the World and holds an annual pickle celebration to commemorate that delicious treat called a pickle.

In Sweden the tradition for Christmas is a feast consisting of potatoes flavored with pickled anchovies. The dish is described as ‘creamy with a hint of ocean’. The tradition dates back to the 1940s when Swedish opera singer Pelle Janzon who was extremely well-known at the time feasted on this  dish every Christmas. Also in Sweden Julmust soda outsells Coke during the holidays. This soda is made with hops and barley.  Pigs Feet are also a Christmas ‘treat’ in Sweden and go perfectly with a cold Julmust.

Filipinos celebrate Christmas with Puto Bumbong which is made with sweet rice cooked in  bamboo tubes and steamed. Margerine, sugar and grated coconut are added to this purple colored desert. Rice for desert, I didn’t know that!

There is even a treat from the Arctic called Reindeer Pate. Described as an Arctic delicacy made from farm raised relatives of Rudolph to make an indulgent winter treat. Ah, no thanks I will pass.

In Portugal Bacalhau is a Christmas favorite, it consists of dried cod-fish with boiled potatoes and cabbage. Wow probably won’t need much extra fiber to move that thru your digestive system.

From Greenland the place that introduced kiviak to the world comes Muktuk. This tasty traditional Christmas treat made from whale skin and blubber and is usually served deep-fried with soy sauce.  By the way in case you missed my earlier blog concerning kiviak, it consists of stuffing a seal skin with up to 500 auks (tiny black & white ducks) feathers and all. As much air as possible is removed as the stuffing progresses before the skin is sewn closed and sealed with seal fat to help repel flies. The Kiviak is then hidden in a pile of stones with a large rock placed on top to keep air out and mark the spot for future retrieval. Over the course of the next 3 months the auks ferment and apparently you have an ‘appetizing’ Christmas meal. Wow Greenlandians sure know how to eat for the holidays.

In South Africa comes a dish best described as using what you got. A Christmas delicacy in Johannesburg is deep-fried caterpillar. Some of these Emperor Moth caterpillars are colorful and make a desirable treat whether your hungry or just admire food that’s artistic. YUMMY………………

In England a popular dish is Christmas Pudding Pizza. Pigs in a blanket, turkey, roasted taters, assorted veggies, bread sauce and chestnut stuffing. Wow, and I thought Hawaiian pizza was strange.

In the Czech Republic a long-standing tradition is to catch a carp and raise it in your bathtub for several weeks before Christmas then deep fry said carp and serve with potato salad. Sorry, seems like too much work.

For Pringles fans I give you Holiday Pringles. Yep, Sweet Cinnamon, Mint Choc, Pumpkin Pie Spice, Cinnamon Sugar and White Christmas Peppermint will thrill potato chip fans at Christmas.

From that great culinary country of Finland comes Maksalaatikko made from ground liver, rice, butter, syrup, onion, eggs and raisins served with jam. This dish was once voted the most disliked food in Finland. Can’t beat that for honesty.

For the minimalist on your gift list try giving Hot Can Christmas Dinner. Described as a turkey casserole with cranberry sauce, stuffing and veggies in a can. Can be prepared in 8-12 minutes using exothermic reaction. Don’t ask any questions just excuse yourself from the table and quietly leave the room before cooking. That exothermic thingy sounds dangerous.

Norway knows how to compete with Greenland as far as Christmas foods. Smalahove will rival any kiviak made. This taste sensation is a lamb’s head chopped in half and traditionally eaten from front to back. By the way the ears and eyes are considered the best parts. For this I believe a lot of fiber might be necessary to properly clear one’s digestive track. Just saying.

I don’t know about anyone else but I sure am hungry now.  See you next time when my blog subject just might be worldwide methods to settle an upset stomach. Until then see ya……………………………..

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