Christmas Foods From Around The World

America is a nation of immigrants who bring their holiday traditions to life each year. It seems not everyone is afraid of fruit cake after all. Christmas fare varies throughout the world and we’ve checked into some culinary Christmas traditions to see what holiday fare we might want to cook up this season. Take a look:

Santa is not a thing in Germany, instead little children believe in Christkind, a present-bearing angel that they write letters to and leave on the windowsill. Not exactly Mr. Claus and his reindeer but hey, at least they get to keep the cookies for themselves. Germans are big fans of Pfeffernusse cookies. These tasty morsels are spiced and covered in powdered sugar. If you attempt to sneak one as your mother is setting them out you’re likely to give yourself away with powdered sugar fingers and perhaps some on your lips. For an easier snatch and grab go for Fruchte Brot. Yes, that means fruitcake. This kind is made with honey and dried fruit and is nothing like the horrible stuff people give their neighbors as a joke.

People in France celebrate the 12 days leading up to Christmas, called Noel. On Christmas Eve, also called Le Revellon, children leave their shoes out for Le Pere Noel to fill with gifts. Traditional sweets in France include Buche de Noel, a yule log cake that is like a giant Swiss cake roll. Many French also love punitions, buttery shortbread cookies that are shaped like flowers. The mail Christmas meal is usually made of roast goose or turkey, cheeses, oysters, lobster and even foie gras. Now that’s a joyeux noel!

Instead of writing letters to Santa stating all the gifts they want, Italian children write letters to their parents in which they spout their love and appreciation. Families enjoy struffoli, hazelnuts covered in fried dough and topped with sprinkles and powdered sugar on Christmas Eve. Another sweet is the Panettone, which is similar to fruitcake but is more of a sweet bread and has some nuts on top. If you’re in a hurry to create an Italian holiday favorite whip up a batch of Amaretti cookies. They’re similar to shortbread cookies but have a light almond taste. Add a candied almond to the center and you’ve got a beautiful traditional dessert to pair with coffee or liqueur.

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