Christmas Eve brings families together. On Christmas, we exchange gifts and feast around a well-laden table. We all know those scenes from Hollywood movies where happy children are running around the house, parents are decorating the Christmas tree, and there’s a giant turkey on the table. One would imagine this is also the case in Europe. But people are strange when you’re a stranger and Europe is a bit special when it comes to Christmas Eve. Some countries don’t have any meat on the table at all. While others enjoy in some really peculiar dishes such as roasted sheep head. Either way, Christmas is a special time of the year wherever you are.
Now, let’s see what’s eaten for Christmas dinner across Europe?
Traditional Christmas in Portugal is meatless. This is hardly a surprise since Portugal is a coastal nation. Traditional dinner includes a codfish and boiled potatoes. What’s for dessert? Fruitcake. Simple, yet tasty.
When it comes to Christmas food, there’s nowhere you’d rather be than in Germany. That is if you like roast goose, dumplings and red cabbage. And they have a special cake that they bake especially for Christmas – the recipe involves red wine, cinnamon, chocolate, and lots of butter and eggs. You don’t want to count calories in this one.
Austrians share the language and food with Germans. Stuffed Christmas goose and red cabbage are served in this Alpine country. And there’s the traditional Sacher torte (cake) for dessert. Mulled wine is Austrian favorite Christmas drink.
Where’s Rudolph? Rudolph is on the table served with potatoes. Yes, you’ve heard us right. In Iceland, they eat reindeer on Christmas Eve. They are also fond of sheep’s head and fermented skate. Thank god young generations are reconsidering this Christmas menu.
When we hear the words Christmas and England we imagine Yorkshire pudding. But that’s not all – there’s also turkey, cranberry sauce, and sausages wrapped in bacon called pigs in blankets. Cute! Champagne is always appropriate during festivities. Cheers!
In Poland, traditional Christmas dishes are borscht, carp, and cabbage with peas. Borscht is soup that has dozens of variations but is usually made from beef, beetroot, cabbage, carrots, onions, potatoes, and tomato paste. Not so bad.
A typical Dutch Christmas dinner tradition is called Gourmetten. It’s when people gather at the table and each cooks their own dish in a small pan. Traditional foods are smoked sausages, mashed vegetables with potatoes, a shrimp cocktail, and pancakes called Pannenkoeken. Vrolijk Kerstfeest!
Croatia is known to be a perfect summer gateway, but Croatia in winter is not so bad either. Especially because of its food. Croatia’s foodie scene is smoking hot. On Christmas Day Croatians traditionally prepper foods such as roasted pig or duck, stuffed peppers, and fritule (something similar to donuts). If you’re a bit hungover after Christmas eve, you need to try their Sarma – stuffed sour cabbage usually served with mashed potatoes. The hungover will go away in a minute.
Italy values and takes its traditions very seriously. And according to tradition, there’s no meat allowed on the Christmas eve. But Italian cuisine never disappoints – even if it’s meatless. Octopus, baccala, shellfish, artichokes, and of course pasta are on the menu. To toast the festive season order prosecca.