Culture: Food – Holiday Foods from Around the World

Holiday Foods from Around the World by Wanderlust Designer
Holiday Foods from Around the World by Wanderlust Designer

Yes, there are the decorations, the presents, and the holiday get togethers… but by far one of the best parts of the holiday season is food! There are so many food traditions surrounding the holidays. Many cultures and countries have specific traditions surrounding holiday food– for instance, in Germany, when wandering through the famed Christmas markets, it’s essential to have a glühwein in hand to keep your spirits warm. A holiday party in England wouldn’t be complete without serving mince pie!

Below are just a few of the holiday foods I illustrated from around the world. What’s your favorite holiday food tradition?

Pumpkin Pie (America) – Although pumpkin pie can be served throughout the fall and winter season, it definitely takes center stage on the desert table at Thanksgiving across America.

Glühwein (Germany) – Glühwein is a traditional mulled wine served hot or warm. It is served at many of the Christmas markets throughout Germany and also can be bought and served at home.

Krumkakes (Norway) – Krumkake is a Norwegian waffle like cookie made on a special, decorative 2 sided iron griddle. After the cookie is pressed, it is quickly removed from the griddle, and folded around a wood dowel to make a cone shape. It is either eaten plain or filled with whip cream or other toppings.

Mince Pies (England) – Mince pie is a sweet pie filled with a dried fruit mixture called mincemeat. It is served throughout the Christmas season in England.

Persimmon Pudding (America) – Persimmons become ripe and delicious in November and December in many parts of the US. Persimmon pudding is one of the delicious pudding/bread like deserts served during the holiday season in America since this fruit is in season. It is typically served with whipped cream, a hard sauce or ice cream.

Tuscan Castagnaccio (Italy) – Just as roasted chestnut vendors appear on the streets of New York City during the winter, so do chestnut vendors pop up all over the towns of Tuscany, Italy. With the harvest in season, it is also time that many people from Sienna, Tuscany bake a chestnut cake called castagnoaccio.  This slightly sweet, thin cake is  made with chestnut flower,  and may be flavored with pine nuts, raisins, walnuts and rosemary.

Melomakarona (Greece) – Melomakarona are egg-shaped cookies made from mostly flour, olive oil and honey. They are a traditional dessert served mostly during the Christmas season in Greece.

Lebkuchen (Germany) – Lebkuchen or sometimes called pfefferkuchen is a cookie that closely resembles in taste and look to gingerbread. It is seen brightly decorated with German sayings and holiday icons and sold at fairs and markets during the holiday season.

Eggnog (Britain) – is a milk and egg based sweet alcoholic punch served during the holidays. It originated in England, but is now commonly seen throughout America, Canada and even Australia during the holidays.

Champurrado (Mexico) – Champurrado is a warm, thick hot chocolate based drink servied throughout Mexico during Las Posadas or the Christmas Season. It is thickended with corn flour and may be spiced with cinnamon, anise, vanilla, ground nuts or orange zest.


Holiday Foods from Around the World by Wanderlust Designer
Holiday Foods from Around the World by Wanderlust Designer

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