Alternative Festive Feasts

Less than a week to Christmas and our thoughts are already on what we’ll be eating!
Although a Christmas feast is a common theme in all countries celebrating Christmas, you might not recognise all of the dishes on the table around the world. So if you fancy something a little different this year how about these for inspiration:

Fried Carp and Potato Salad
Czech Republic

Fried Carp
Image via bbs.readnovel

Christmas Dinner in the Czech Republic is served on the 24th December and usually centres around a dish of carp, served with a potato salad. During dinner parents may need to find excuses to sneak off as it’s traditional for Father Christmas to visit the family during the Christmas meal – so that when they finish eating they find all their presents have magically appeared under the tree!

Making fried carp for dinner seems to be a bit simpler than the traditional Christmas turkey:

Fried carp recipe
1. Sprinkle your portions of carp with salt and leave for half an hour
2. Cover the portions of carp with a mixture of flour, beaten egg and breadcrumbs
3. Fry in oil until golden brown

Recipe from 4seasonswithetwinning. You’ll see a recipe for the potato salad there too.

Latin America

Christmas tamales
Image from mrpetermore

Tamales are eaten across Central America, Cuba and parts of South America, and in lots of countries have come to be associated with Christmas. Although the recipe has many many regional variations, essentially a tamale is a dish of meat and a starchy corn dough called masa which is wrapped in a leaf before it is steamed or boiled. Sweet versions also exist. Tamales are eaten throughout the year, though are always regarded as a speciality due to the long preparation time involved. At Christmas time seasonal fillings might be used, for example tamales negras in Guatemala, made with a chocolate-based sauce, dried plums, raisins, and nuts.

Cooking tamales is time and labour intensive – allow at least six hours for preparation and cooking. We’ve found a recipe for colourful Christmas tamales here.


Image from familyrecipecollection.

Although a traditional dinner of meat and game is common in the Netherlands they also have a more unique tradition of ‘gourmet’. This is an evening long meal which bears resemblance to fondue. The host prepares for the evening by chopping lots of vegetables as well as different types of meats and fish. Prawns and shrimps also constitute a large part of the menu. Each guest then cooks and seasons their meal in tiny portions using individual small frying pans. It’s thought the tradition originated from the former Dutch colony of Indonesia.

What you cook up on your Gourmet meal is up to you – but you can read one family’s suggested recipe here.

Top image from Arbron