Holiday food around the world

Luke Fisher, Staff Reporter



As the holiday season is approaching, various communities and cultures around the world are celebrating their own unique traditions. One important aspect of each tradition is food, and by looking around the world one can find its many influences on nearly every culture. 

In the United States, one of the most popular holidays celebrated during the winter season is Christmas. Consequently, over the years, a traditional feast has come to characterize the holiday. Traditionally, most people eat ham, turkey, or roast beef with stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, vegetables, and other homemade foods. Cheesecake is also a popular dessert served throughout the entire holiday season.

In Germany, as described by German Foods, the majority of people eat either roast duck, goose, or turkey for winter holidays. Occasionally, some will also eat rabbit as a main dish. For sides, Germans like to have apple and sausage stuffing, potatoes, and bread dumplings instead of the typical American mashed potatoes.As for vegetables, Germans traditionally eat red cabbage or stewed kale. Heart-shaped gingerbread cookies and stollen are also quite popular in European countries.

Although the majority of Koreans are nonreligious, many still gather together during the winter season and serve distinct dishes. According to Bonnie Grant, Koreans usually have bulgogi, or barbecued beef. On the side many prefer sweet potato noodles and kimchi—a common side dish of salted and fermented vegetables. Kimchi is also used in soups or stews. Those attending the meal often bring their own best dishes for everyone else to try. After dinner, people often enjoy cake— typically that made with rice and decorative fruit. If cake is not served, families may have a buffet with the best sweets the family can make.

Finally, just south of Korea, Japan also has a unique holiday food tradition. In the country, it is very hard to obtain turkey and some other meats, so many people turn to fried chicken from the popular restaurant KFC. Others will make their own favorite homemade chicken dish. According to Sushisushi, the tradition began in the 1970s when KFC marketed a “Christmas Day chicken meal deal.”  Other foods Japanese people eat during the holidays are Christmas cake, cream stew, and pizza.

As one can see, a simple gaze around the world during the holiday season brings insight to the vast food traditions that play vital aspects within various cultures.