Fancy something a little different on your table this festive season? We taken a look at a couple of other countries for some festive feasting inspiration.
When thinking about Christmas, it's hard not to conjure up images of Santa in his Lapland toyshop making a list and checking it twice, so our first port of call is Finland.
Joulupöytä, which translates as Yule or Christmas table, is the name of the traditional food board containing many different served at Christmas in Finland. The main dish is usually a large Christmas ham, along with other dishes such as fish and a variety of casseroles. The feast is finished off with sweet treats such as a rice pudding, Christmas bread and biscuits. And it’s all washed down with a traditional alcoholic or non-alcoholic glögi, similar to mulled wine.
Very handy dishes for any host preparing a feast as they can be made in advance and keep well for two or three days when stored in a cool place. Or why not try with leftover vegetables?
- Swede casserole (containing ground ginger, white pepper, nutmeg)
- Carrot casserole (containing nutmeg)
Both casseroles are suitable for freezing if they don't all get eaten!
- Glass Masters herring (containing whole allspice berries, bay leaves or you could also try with horseradish, peppercorns or celery or mustard seeds. You will need to make this a few days in advance as the fish needs to soak overnight, unless filleted and the skins removed, and the whole lot left to marinade for two to three days).
- Rice porridge (containing Ground cinnamon to serve)
- Mixed fruit soup (you will need to start the night before as the dried fruit will need to be soaked overnight. Containing a stick of cinnamon)
But a white Christmas isn't a reality for everyone so if this is your summer or you want to transport yourself and your taste buds to sunnier climes this festive season, let's look to the Caribbean for some inspiration.
The weather might be different but the spirit of getting together with friends and family and enjoying good food is still the same. Dishes to chose from include roast pork, rice with peas, yummy parcels of pork and green bananas known as pasteles, followed by sweet treats including black cake or pudín de pan. Drinks of choice are often rum based such as eggnog-like coquito or ponche de creme or if you can't let go of that mulling feeling try sorrel rum punch.
- Pernil (roast pork) (containing Caribbean adobo rub)
- Arroz de Gandules (Rice with Pigeon Peas) (containing bay leaves, garlic cloves, minced, ground cumin, ground coriander, cayenne, annatto seeds)
- Black cake (containing cinnamon, allspice)
- Ponche de creme (containing nutmeg)
However you celebrate the festive season, we hope it's a very happy one!