Best Traditional Christmas Dishes Around the World

Christmas is finally here, and it’s a special time of the year for people all around the world! It is a great time to gather with family and friends, exchange gifts and celebrate with good food. And what’s interesting is that the meals we share during Christmas differ everywhere!

Christmas food traditions vary from country to country, depending on religion and local customs. Here are some of the best traditional dishes from around the world this holiday season:

Philippines: Bibingka

On Christmas Eve, Filipinos eat bibingka for breakfast after Midnight Mass (Misa de Gallo or Simbang Gabi).

Bibingka is a rice-flour cake made with coconut milk, butter, and eggs. The more expensive versions have melted cheese, a salted duck egg, and a lot of grated coconut on top. It’s usually cooked over hot coals in a clay pot lined with banana leaves, but you can also easily cook this salty-sweet cake in a home oven using a cake tin.

Goa: Sorpotel

Goa, in the west of India, was a Portuguese colony for 400 years. This means that many of the Christmas traditions in this area come from Portugal. A spicy stew called Sorpotel is a big part of the Christmas Eve celebrations in Goa, along with singing carols and making life-size nativity scenes. The dish is slow-cooked pork with cinnamon, cumin, and Kashmiri chillies. Traditionally, the liver and heart are also included.

Russia: Sochivo

Some Russians choose not to eat anything on Christmas Eve and fast until they see the first star in the sky. Then, people eat wheat or rice porridge called “Sochivo,” which is served with honey, fruit, nuts, and seeds. In Russia, porridge is a sign of unity. In the past, families would throw a spoonful of porridge at the ceiling, and if it stuck, it meant that the family would have good luck and a good harvest. We don’t know how they would clean it up, though.

Sweden: Julbord and Julskinka

On Christmas Eve, Swedes have their biggest party. This meal is called a “Julbord,” a buffet with cold fish, meats, cheese, pickles, and more. There’s also the Christmas ham called “Julskinka,” another star of the show. It is made by boiling the cut and roasting it in the oven until it is crisp. This is usually left to cool down and then served cold with the rest of the buffet food.

Denmark: Ris á la mande

Have a sweet tooth? You’re going to love this Danish tradition. Most families make a special rice pudding called “Ris á la mande,” which is usually made with milk, rice, almonds, vanilla, and whipped cream. This is usually served as dessert on Christmas Day. But if you’re wondering why this custom is so important, it’s because whoever finds the whole almond in the rice pudding gets a present!

South Africa: Malva pudding

Malva pudding, which is a sponge cake with apricot jam, is one of the most decadent desserts in South Africa. It’s only served on special occasions throughout the year, but at Christmas, some versions include brandy or Amarula, a South African cream liqueur made from the marula fruit. While the cake is still hot, a lot of sweetened butter-cream sauce is drizzled over it. This makes the golden sponge dessert gooey and caramelised, like sticky toffee pudding.

Iceland: Hangikjot

Hangikjot is a dish that is often served at Christmas dinners in Iceland. Thin slices of meat are cooked in water and served with a cream sauce. You may be curious as to why it tastes so good. Well, it’s because lamb, mutton, or horse meat is traditionally smoked over dried sheep’s dung to make it.

Poland: Borscht

Borscht or beetroot soup is a traditional first course for Christmas in Poland. It can be served hot or cold, and most Poles eat it on Christmas Eve when they have their biggest feast.


Christmas is about family and creating happy memories with them with the food we share.

All of us at Shorty’s wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We want to thank you all for your support this year, and we hope you have a great holiday season.

If you need good burgers and a jolly holiday spirit for your events, we got you. Contact us at 0486 060 606 or email us at ho***@sh**************.au to learn about our holiday schedule.

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