While we tuck into our roast turkeys and fill ourselves up with several hundred pigs in blankets this Christmas, the rest of the world will be indulging in some very different feasts. And while there are many out there that we feel slightly envious of (BBQ on the beach anyone?), there are others that have left us feeling a tad confused. Here are some of the strangest Christmas food traditions that we’ve found, and some aren’t for the faint hearted!
Eat KFC in Japan
Yes. You read that correctly. Every Christmas the people of Japan treat themselves to a mega bucket, with over 3.5 million families joining in the festive fun. Generally Christmas isn’t that much of a big deal to the Japanese, but why dismiss a national tradition? Any excuse for a bit of fried chicken we say!
Sheep’s head anyone?
Kentucky Fried Chicken at Christmas is something we could definitely get on board with, this on the other hand, we’re not so sure about. Originally eaten before Christmas, smalahove, or sheep’s head as we would call it, is a traditional dish to Norway. The brain is removed, and then after salting and drying, the entire head is boiled or steamed for around three hours before serving. It’s considered a delicacy to many, but we’re not so sure we’d trade it for our turkey!
A carp in a bathtub
A strange tradition to us, but one that many throughout central Europe get involved with. It essentially calls for a carp to be caught from a river or carp farm, and then transferred to ones bathtub for a day or two before being killed just in time for dinner. We bet it tastes pretty good, but perhaps warn your guests before they pop upstairs to use the loo!
To be honest, this isn’t weird at all. But it is purple, and that’s something we don’t see in our traditional Christmas lunch! Eaten during the festive period in the Philippines, this sticky rice (called Pirurutong) with its vibrant colour, is stuffed into bamboo, steamed and topped with butter, shredded coconut and brown sugar. Sounds okay to us!
Who wants some blubber?
We’re not sure we do to be honest, but the people of Greenland love a bit of mattak at Christmas time. Supposedly tasting similar to fresh coconut, this whale skin with a strip of blubber inside is a firm favourite amongst many. The snack itself it usually swallowed whole as it is too tough to chew, and is best eaten raw.