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Deck The Bowls: 5 Historical Christmas Foods From Around The World



Deck The Bowls: 5 Historical Christmas Foods From Around The World

The flavours of Christmas with a touch of history

What’s Christmas without good food, right? All around the world, India included, people put in a little extra effort to serve a lavish, memorable spread for Christmas. Roast chicken, mince pie, pudding, eggnog, and fruitcake are the usual favourites, but there’s so much more. Every country has its own culinary traditions, including dishes you may never have heard of.

We bring you 5 such foods (with Indian equivalents for you to try!).

1. Lutefisk

This melt-in-the-mouth seafood preparation is a big part of the festivities in Norway.

According to the Viking legends, a village was once sacked during an attack, and all the burnt fish was dumped into ash-filled water. Months later, the survivors discovered the fish, cleaned and cooked it, and feasted upon it! As tradition goes, they now store cod fish in water for days and cook it only during Christmas.

The Norwegian Seafood Council (India) is now trying to popularise the dish in India, so you might just find it on the restaurant menus soon.

2. Tamales

We’ve all heard of the great Mayans. Yes, the same Mayans who predicted that 2012 would be the end of us. Now, they might have been wrong about that, but they’ve certainly got their food right!

Tamales — chicken or turkey stuffed corn wrappers steamed to perfection — are a big part of their festive culture, and they’re popular in many South American states and Mexico too.

Enjoy them at Mexican restaurants in the city, or make this desi version at home.

3. Chicken Causa

Chicken causa is a scrumptious dish of mashed potatoes, avocado, and chicken. It literally translates to ‘the cause’. During the independence war in Peru, women decided to contribute to the cause by getting together and preparing the dish, and selling it to people to raise funds.

If you’re in Mumbai, drop in at the Peruvian restaurant Lima to savour the iconic dish.

4. Black Bun

The sweet black bun from Scotland traces back to the 16th century. As per a legend, this ‘royal cake’ was presented to the Queen of Scots, Mary, after she returned from France. It also faced a ban during the Scottish Reformation, but made a comeback soon enough.

So this season, skip the plum cake, and surprise your family with this unusual bun cake.

5. Stollen

Another popular cake preparation comes from Germany – and it holds so much importance that the Dresden Stollen Festival is one of the prime festivals in the country.

In 1730, King Augustus II ordered the baker’s guild to prepare a 1.3 tonne stollen cake for his subjects. Even today, a giant stollen cake is driven to the Dresden market during Christmas every year and distributed among the people.

The fruit-studded stollen bread is easily available in local bakeries as well as online stores. There’s a chance that you have eaten this German cake without even knowing about it!

What are your favourite Christmas foods? Tell us in the comments below.

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Namit is a journalist and adventure sports enthusiast. He divides his time in reading about interesting issues and later writing about them. In his free time, he is most expected to escape to the mountains in search of solitude.

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