For America, t's not the hard-boiled eggs or chocolate bunnies that make the family look forward to Easter with eager anticipation - it's the ham.
In every Austrian Christmas market you will find traditional little cakes called "Kekse," without which Christmas wouldn't be complete on this side of the Alps.
In many regions of Belgium, it just wouldn't be New Year without sauerkraut... and to complete the tradition you must have a coin under your plate or in your pocket!
There are a number of different Croatian cuisines which can be grouped according to three main regions. The North begins the holiday's food-related celebrations by sowing wheat.
In Czech Republic
According to the tradition, if you fast during Christmas Eve, you will be able to see the golden pig, which is meant to be a sign of good luck! The Christmas Eve dinner consists of a fried carp, a potato salad, a traditional cake and a variety of Christmas cookies.
No Danish Christmas is complete without cakes and butter cookies, and the Danes have a bunch of favourites.
The month around Christmas is a time for getting together with friends and inviting them in for a glass of glögi, mulled wine.
Christmas is symbolized by the famous stollen, a traditional holiday bread that derives from a tradition more than 500 years old.
The most traditional of Italian Christmas cakes, Panettone, has been sold in Milan in its festive wrappings since medieval times
In Great Britain
Christmas means a stuffed turkey and Christmas Pudding
A housewife never neglects to mark the Christmas bread with her handprint before baking it, a sign to the children that Jesus too has touched the bread on this holy day.
Christmas Eve supper is called "kucia". Twelve foods are most commonly prepared, to assure that the coming year, twelve months, will be good and plentiful. This meatless meal include freshwater fish, porridge, oatmeal, vegetables, apples, nuts, dried fruit compotes…
The tradition of pork butchery dates back to pagan times when a pig was sacrificed to Frøy, the god of fertility, during the Joulu celebrations.
Even though it is said here that there are 365 recipes for cod (one for each day of the year), the tradition for Christmas Eve is to serve simple boiled cod... though Christmas Day is another story!
Christmas is the time for pork butchering on every Romanian farm. Slaughtered on St. Ignatius' day, a few days before Christmas, the pig is meticulously transformed into smoked ham, sausages and charcuterie products.
Dried fruits are used in every course from soup to dessert and seventh heaven cake fills convent kitchens with its aroma.
The high point of the holiday season is the smörgåsbord of traditional delicacies, both hot and cold, with an extra festive flair for Christmas Eve.
Browse at the Montreux Christmas market where the stalls groan under the weight of jars of Holiday Jams .
Sviata Vechera - a feast of 12 meatless dishes
NORTH AMERICA, THE CARIBBEAN AND AFRICA
In the French West Indies
Christmas in the Islands borrows from the Creole and French traditions of the inhabitants, while the trunks of palm trees are festooned with little white lights.
In the Cayman Islands, Cuba and Jamaica
Pork served with black beans, rice or gungo peas. Sorrel drink can be found in just about every single home during the Christmas season, made from dried sorrel sepals, cinnamon, cloves, sugar, orange peel and rum.
Here, anything is an excuse for making liters of kremas and the holiday season is the first. Christmas just wouldn't be Christmas in Haiti without spicy Creole meat pies, eaten hot at four in the morning after returning from mass...
In Puerto Rico
Here, ham or turkey take a back seat to island specialties . no Holiday is complet without a whole roasted pig, served with planatos and Arroz con gandules.
Since late November, rum macerated with the skins and preserved oranges to prepare the Shrubb. Pork is transformed into boudin creole (local sausage), small pates, spicy stew and obviously Christmas ham caramelized with sugarcane.
In the United States
Try the President's Christmas Cake, a White House recipe that dates back over 200 years.
Because of Hawaii's wonderful multi-ethnic population, a holiday dinner and potluck in the Islands is always a blend of Hawaiian, Asian and European cuisines.
In Mexico and New Mexico
In Oaxaca, according to the tradition, a plate should be broken for every bunuelo eaten, in order to bring good luck, a royal experience!
Discover the authentic recipe for meat pie or tourtière. A generations-old tradition that is alive and well!
It's always fun to celebrate Christmas in the warmth of the southern hemisphere. The Santas sweat a little under their beards, the fir trees are often artificial, but there's always a good-natured feel in the air.
Around the world, on the stroke of midnight, glasses are raised to the new year. Here are some traditions and toasts from around the world
Gourmet Specialities in Greece, in England, in Basler, in Czech Republic, in the Netherlands...
Get your inspiration from 160 Traditional Christmas & New Year Recipes from 29 countries
Or tap into the thousands of recipes on Gourmetpedia
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