NPR logo About This Series: The 12 Days Of Quirky Christmas Foods Around The Globe

The 12 Days Of Quirky Christmas Foods Around The Globe

About This Series: The 12 Days Of Quirky Christmas Foods Around The Globe

Ann Boyajian/Illustration Works/Corbis
Hot steam rising from a bowl.
Ann Boyajian/Illustration Works/Corbis

Wherever people celebrate Christmas around the world, they feast. It may be as simple as a bowl of porridge, but food rituals to mark the day as separate and special from all other days are practically universal. So often eating the food associated with this holy day helps families pause for a moment to remember who they are, and where they came from.

But of course, Christmastime feasting looks far different in America than it does in, say, Ethiopia. So, taking a cue from the famed carol "The Twelve Days Of Christmas," we here at The Salt decided to explore 12 ways of Christmas foods from around the globe.

We've zeroed in on cuisine of the season with an unexpected twist. Some of these dishes have an ancient pedigree; others are of more recent vintage. All tell us as much about a country's culture and history as about its gastronomy. As the 18th-century epicure Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin once observed, "Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are."

Article continues after sponsorship

Our series launches Tuesday and will run for the next several weeks. It's meant only as a tasting menu; we're forced to choose only a tiny sprinkling of the world's most intriguing Christmas dishes. (And that's not to mention the many wonderful holiday dishes from other world religions.) If you want to share tales from your own community's Christmastime rituals, please do so in our comments section.