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Try Something New! Surprising Holiday Meal Traditions

Holiday food traditions around the world showcase tasty meals and a fresh outlook on a meal that we look forward to the whole year. So why not add some pizzazz?

Try Something New! Surprising Holiday Meal Traditions

The holidays. Ah, the smell of cranberry sauce and Mom’s turkey go hand-in-hand with the aunts battling it out for that esteemed accolade of The Stuffing Champ. 

But what if holiday food included some spicy peppers and (ahem) dare we say it, ice cream for dessert? Let’s have a look at some different and downright delicious holiday food traditions around the world that will undoubtedly spark some menu changes at home. 

We introduce: The super chicken

When you think Brazilian food, it’s easy to get lost in a Picanha-filled dream as you imagine tasty morsels of rump and roasted fat. However, Brazilians have another scrumptious addition to the dinner table: the chester. If a turkey and a chicken had a baby, it would probably be a chester. This "super chicken" is the centerpiece of Christmas dinners, usually served on Christmas Eve. Now if you're thinking this chicken runs around in a cape fighting villains in the coop, it's referred to as a super chicken because of its size. 

Step aside, kimchi 

Apart from the dates (Koreans celebrate the new year on February 12th), there are also some changes to the menu. First, the most popular holiday food in Korea, tteokguk. Tteokguk is a fragrant soup with a broth as the base, usually a beef broth, served with slices of rice cakes. This meal is a celebratory meal and also happens to make its appearance on birthdays. 

Italian meringue, anyone? 

The southern hemisphere is hot — OK, sweltering — during the holidays. Ice cream and cold puddings are well-known holiday desserts in countries such as Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. If you want to bring out the big guns and impress your guests, it has to be the dessert king, the pavlova. This Italian meringue base is topped with fresh fruit and whipped cream to end off a lunch of cold meats and salads. 

It’s gotta be rice pudding, right? 

If you think rice pudding as you count down toward the New Year, chances are you’re in Sweden. Swedish tradition is to hide an almond in the pudding and kudos to the lucky dinner guest who happens to find it. Apparently, it’s good luck!

Fish, fish, and more fish! 

In Asia, the Chinese New Year is where you get to tuck into all the fish varieties you’ve ever dreamed of. Whether it’s steamed fish in lemon sauces or deep-fried fish with all the spicy accouterments. If you happen to be in Malaysia, you can also look forward to pork belly, prawns, and a variety of chicken dishes. 

KFC — yes, you read right 

In Japan, Christmas Eve is a good day for the international fast-food chain of Kentucky Fried Chicken as locals flock to their local KFC for dinner. The trend is so popular that people have to order their famous bucket of chicken months in advance to satisfy those finger-licking taste buds. 

Let’s face it, the holidays are filled with delectable meals and tasty morsels that would be (mostly) taboo at other times of the year. For the sake of posterity and the upkeep of delicious traditions, let’s pretend there are no calories over the holidays. 

Your Save mailer offers handy tips on a variety of holiday meals and yummy treats. Better yet, keep an eye out for some delicious international cuisine to spice up your festive table this year.