Fast Food Catering

Christmas Food Traditions Around the World

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In the United States, the Christmas Day table is filled with rib roasts and sugar cookies, the traditional holiday foods. But have you ever stopped to wonder what people in other countries like to eat during the holiday? Let’s take a look at a few of the more interesting food traditions.



KFC Fried Chicken by the Bucket in Japan

The modern Japanese tradition of eating KFC fried chicken on Christmas Day is proof of the power of advertising, and we have to say that it’s a good one. The Japanese actually order buckets of the crispy, crunchy and delicious fried food a few days in advance!  

The story goes that in 1974, KFC launched an advertising campaign where Westerners were depicted as celebrating Christmas Day with a fried chicken-centric dinner. The campaign worked, thanks in part to its suggestive slogan “Kentucky for Christmas!” and the chain has enjoyed brisk business over the holidays since then.

But Japan isn’t a Christian country, you say! Yes, it’s true but since Christmas Day is just two days after the current emperor’s birthday, a national holiday (December 23), then the Japanese perhaps wanted to celebrate both occasions.  

Salted Cakes in Spain

Of course, bakers put salt into cakes because it brings out the sweetness of the other ingredients particularly sugar and chocolate. But in Spain, the salt placed into cakes isn’t just a pinch but in a quantity that leaves no doubt that, indeed, these are salted cakes.  

The tradition of serving salted cakes on December 28 has a deep history in the Catholic religion. December 28 is known as Día de los Santos Inocentes or the Day of the Holy Innocents, akin to April Fools’ Day in the United States. Bakers originally placed salt instead of sugar into the cakes as a way to fool the children (i.e., “innocents”).  

But Spain being a Catholic country, salted cakes aren’t the only treats on the table. Families and friends gather to enjoy a celebratory day where gifts and gossip are exchanged, food and drinks are enjoyed, and bonds are created and strengthened.  

Coal Candy in Italy

Instead of Santa Claus leaving behind lumps of coal in the stockings of naughty children, it’s La Befana’s job to leave coal candy as punishment for naughty children in Italy.  Coal candy is actually a type of rock candy that with a remarkable similarity to coal but it can be eaten.  

If you have the time and money for it, you may want to travel the world so that you can experience the Christmas season in more unique ways.

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