Holidays are a time of joy, celebration, and most importantly, food! Different cultures around the globe have unique festive dishes that make their celebrations complete. In this article, we take a culinary trip around the world to explore six of these traditional dishes and how you can prepare them at home.
1. Peking Duck - China
Peking Duck is a famous dish from Beijing that has been prepared since the imperial era. The meat is characterized by its thin, crisp skin, with authentic versions of the dish serving mostly the skin and little meat, sliced in front of the diners by the cook.
To prepare Peking Duck, the duck is air-dried and then roasted in the oven. The crispy skin is often eaten first, dipped in sugar and garlic sauce. The meat is then eaten with pancakes, spring onions, and sweet bean sauce.
2. Tamales - Mexico
Tamales, a traditional Mexican dish, are often made for large gatherings and festive occasions. They consist of masa (a dough made from corn) and a filling, wrapped in a corn husk and then steamed.
Tamales can be filled with cheeses, fruits, vegetables, chilies, or any preparation of meats. The wrapped tamales are steamed or boiled. When they're ready to be eaten, the wrapping is removed, and the delightful aroma of the steamed tamales wafts through the room.
3. Christmas Pudding - United Kingdom
Christmas Pudding, also known as Plum Pudding, is a type of pudding traditionally served as part of the Christmas dinner in the UK and in other countries where it has been brought by British emigrants.
The pudding is prepared by mixing together many ingredients such as suet, flour, breadcrumbs, sugar, and treacle. It's then flavored with cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, and other spices, and filled with dried fruits and treacle.
4. Tourtiere - Canada
Tourtiere is a traditional meat pie served in Canada, especially in the province of Quebec, during the Christmas holiday season. The pie is named for the vessel in which it was originally cooked, a 'tourtière'.
The pie is made from minced pork, veal, or beef and a mixture of spices, then baked in a pie crust until golden brown. It's typically served with a variety of pickled items and condiments.
5. Gulab Jamun - India
Gulab Jamun is a popular dessert in India. These sweet, syrupy doughnut-like balls are often consumed during festivals or major celebrations.
The balls are made from a dough of milk solids, flour, and a leavening agent. They are then fried until golden brown and soaked in a sweet syrup flavored with rose water and cardamom.
6. Pavlova - New Zealand
Pavlova is a meringue-based dessert named after the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova. It's a popular dish in New Zealand, especially during Christmas time.
The dessert has a crisp crust and soft, light inside, usually topped with fruit and whipped cream. The meringue is made from egg whites and sugar, then baked at a low temperature until it achieves its unique texture.
Let's put it all together in a table for a quick review:
So there you have it, six delightful festive dishes from around the world that you can try at home. Whether it's a Chinese Peking Duck or a Canadian Tourtiere, you'll have a taste of global holiday traditions right on your dining table.