Strangest International Christmas Food
By Verena Chia
December 13, 2016
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! It's time for a magical get together with friends and family over a satisfying feast. Traditions vary from region to region when it comes year end festivities, but who can forget the infamous Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) Christmas Dinner tradition in Japan?
Orders get so backed up for KFC that people start ordering two months in advance for fear that they might run out. This strange Japanese tradition is credited to an amazing marketing campaign done in 1974. Such level of marketing success would be envied by agencies worldwide.
If you’ve never heard of it before, find out what a Japanese Christmas would be like!
Here, we have a whole bunch of ridiculous and often strange international Christmas food around the world. Be it due to tradition, marketing or history, they sure won’t be on our dining tables this festive season.
Naughty Kids will Get COAL!
In certain parts of Italy, if you’re naughty, you’ll get coal in your stockings.
Though most often used as a festive joke, they use a coal-like candy called Carbone Dolce, made of sugar, egg whites and black colouring. Try this out with your own family this year and perhaps, it will be a stark reminder for your kids to stay on the ‘nice’ list.
Asian Decorative Christmas Cakes
The common chocolate Christmas cake found in most parts of Asia, with its unique and ubiquitous candied decorative Santa and trees; is a staple for most families when it comes to the snowy season.
Its western origins of fruit cakes and figgy puddings are mostly simple and duller in colour, made with an assortment of seeds and nuts. Our weird Asian cousin is decked out brilliantly in whipped cream, sugar figurines and plump strawberries. Need we go on more of this lovely delight?
We’re sure this tradition, unlike the one above, will adorn your Christmas table soon.
Why not make Christmas dinners fuss-free with our exclusive Christmas Deals?
Mince (meat) Pie
The mince pie dates back ages; way back to the medieval times. Stuffed with minced meat, fruits, nuts, and spiced with cinnamon, cloves and the quintessential Christmas fare, nutmeg, this ancient treat is often decorated with a little baby Jesus or a star on top of the pastry.
Fortunately now, meat is often not added as an ingredient, making it more of a dessert than a savoury pie. Make your own for this year’s celebration and you might be pleasantly surprised by this old custom.
You may not have heard of this, but that may be because it’s poison. Lutfisk is a cod or any other white fish soaked in Lye. What is lye you ask? Better known as Sodium Hydroxie (NaOH) or Potassium Hydroxide (KOH), it is commonly used in making soap and detergent. Very effectively used for cleaning industrial ovens, clogged drain pipes and crime scene clean up. This is due to the fact that they have good grease-dissolving properties.
Now imagine soaking your food in lye for about 6 to 10 days, and then eating it. Originating from Northern and Central Norway, the traditional Nordic dish is soaked to a jelly-like glutinous perfect. The alkaline concoction grows to twice its size, but due to the oil removal from the lye, it doesn’t really taste like much, but it sure lasts a lifetime.
Next time you’re in Norway, do try some soaked, fermented Lutfisk for Christmas.
On to another weird Christmas food, here we have the Kiviak. Wondering what it is? Oh, it’s just FERMENTED birds inside the body of a SEAL. No biggie.
Originally from Greenland, this recipe takes turducken (chicken stuffed in a duck, then a turkey) to a whole new uncharted territory. Whole Auks, cousins of penguins, are stuffed into a skinned seal, feathers, beak, flippers and all. The whole seal would then be buried underground for 3 to 18 months.
The seal’s added blubber ensures that your festive meal is kept at the right fermentation condition and texture. And then from there on, you just unfold, chip the wings of your Auks, and eat them whole! Which is easier said than done.
Merry Christmas, Happy Feet.
Rudolph the red nose reindeer~ Makes a very lovely paté~
A mushy delicacy made of the finest reindeer meat and spiced with cognac, eat a little of Dasher or a bit of Prancer with hot buttered toast and an exquisite glass of brandy. Legend has it that Blitzen tastes like the best beef with a touch of game.
Get yours now from Nuku, and enjoy a truly taste of Christmas.
Carp for dinner
You see little Bubbles happily swimming around your aquarium in circles. Ever wondered how your pretty little fishy would taste like? Well if you’re Slovakian, you’ll wonder no longer!
Slovakians prepare for Christmas by purchasing a large carp and letting their young’uns give it a cute name. Not so little Bubbles will then be allowed to swim around in the family’s bath for a few days, enjoying the high life, before, well unfortunately, getting slaughtered, deep fried, and placed on the Christmas Dinner table! Being bottom feeders, the theory behind it is to clean the fish’s inner system, ensuring that the Christmas’ main course is as fresh as can be for the big feast.
We wonder how Slovakians explain to their children that Bubbles won’t be around any longer…
Perhaps a common saying comes to mind, “All good things have an end”.
So, this Christmas, no matter if you love fermented penguins or having pets for dinner, the most important thing is to celebrate with love ones and give thanks for the year.
From our modest hearts at SAFRA, we wish you all a Merry Christmas.
Join us for a fest or some fun and games, check out SAFRA’s Events and Activities page for more information!