Unique International Holiday Cuisines

Imagine asking your family, “What’s for Christmas dinner?” and the answer being something like, “Oh, probably a mixture of the fat of hunted reindeer, seal oil, and crisco mixed with berries.”

Huh?

NPR did a report recently on unique holiday cuisines, and the first piece was on traditional Alaskan food. And would you believe that Aqutak-Alaskan Ice Cream contains many of those ingredients I just described? And how does it get that chilled effect? Why, by adding snow of course! Duh.

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Here are a few other “odd holiday dishes” I collected that could either amuse, interest, or terrify you:

  1. Cambodia: “Fried Tarantulas”- This dish was born out of a dark time in Cambodia’s history (the Bloody Khmer Rouge) in which many Cambodians were struggling to find food. But in fact, this dish is still made today by deep frying each tarantula and seasoning it with salt. Yum?
  2. Sweden: “Herring and Beet Salad”- Also known as “Rosolli,” it only appears on Swedish tables on Christmas. But it’s pretty much a staple. Regular beet salad requires the beets to be cubed. Here they’re pulsed in a food processor to achieve a creamy texture. You can try the recipe here, once you’ve obtained your herring from the Baltic Sea, of course.
  3. Greenland: “Kiviak”- What’s Kiviak, you ask? Only fermented birds. It’s made by gathering up to 500 lbs of local birds (auks) and stuffing them inside seal skin. Then the seal is sewn up and left with a rock on top of it – to lower the air content – for months at a time. Eventually, it’s opened up and smells like cheese.
  4. Italy: “Italian Spice Shrimp”- When Americans think of Thanksgiving, we think of turkey. But not all countries use that as their main dish. In Italy, where many Roman Catholics fast on Christmas Eve, seafood dishes have gained in popularity.
  5. Phillipines: “Roast Pig”- Porky gets the short end of the stick in places like the Phillipines, where it’s customary to roast a whole pig to serve as the centerpiece of a holiday meal.

I never sausage a thing.

To be honest, I guess that’s really snout my style.

I hope I’m not a loin in this?

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About Maia Rodriguez

"Military Mom" Maia Rodriguez was born in Cleveland, Ohio, but that was about twenty homes ago. After graduating from Syracuse University with a BFA in Musical Theater, she traveled just about everywhere in the country, lived in a green turtle-like tent for 6 months, toured and slept in the back of her van and even worked in Japan for a year. Then she met her husband who tamed her (ha!) and they embarked together on the adventure of parenthood in southern California where she worked as a professional pirate. Now, two children later, the family currently resides in VIrginia, where she sings for the US Navy as a vocalist. When she’s not mothering, she’s writing music for "Evernight," singing and writing for the Baby Bullet Blog.

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