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Food & Drink

December 1, 2022

5 Fascinating Christmas Dinners from Around the World

Brings some international flair to this year's Christmas dinner!


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At Santa.com, we’re all about tradition—but also totally okay with spicing things up every once in a while. There’s no better place to do that than the Christmas dinner table! Take a virtual globetrot with us and peek at a few meal ideas from around the world. Consider it your invitation to think beyond the baked ham this year.  

Poland | Barszcz Wigilijny

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Also known as Christmas Eve borscht, this beet soup is traditionally served as a first course (or the main course if you load it up with veggies). The base is usually a vegetable broth and fermented beet sour. Historically, the entire dish is meatless, making it a great option if you’re serving vegetarians. Mushroom dumplings are added to the mix, giving this soup an earthy deliciousness. 

The Philippines | Bibingka 

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These traditional baked coconut rice cakes are cooked in a terracotta oven that’s lined with banana leaves. It’s served for breakfast or an afternoon snack during the Christmas season. Eaten piping hot or lukewarm, Bibingka is sweet and may remind you of rice pudding. We’re picturing this as part of our holiday brunch or Christmas morning snack.

Mexico | Tamales

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From the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe through Three Kings’ Day, tamales are a mealtime essential in Mexico and parts of Texas. But what is a tamale, exactly? It's a dish made of corn dough, which is stuffed with meat or vegetables and then wrapped in a corn husk. This dish is such a staple of the season that it even spawned Talamadas—tamale-making parties. What a fun way to get the whole family involved!

Greece | Christopsomo

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This fluffy, flaky bread is designed with a cross over the top of the round loaf—pretty fitting considering the literal translation means “Christ bread.” It’s a sacred staple during Greek Christmas celebrations, and is traditionally broken apart by hand. The classic recipe results in a rich, aromatic flavor thanks to mahlab (a spice made from ground cherry seeds) and anise. But if you don’t have these on hand, plenty of more modern spins on the recipe abound. 

Iceland | Hangikjot 

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A distinctively smoked holiday entree usually made from lamb or mutton, this dish might feel closest to our American meals. It’s traditionally served with potatoes and peas and sometimes thinly sliced pieces of bread. If you don’t want to make it a main, try adding some slices to your charcuterie board.