Strange Christmas meal around the world

Christmas is Odd Chef’s favorite time of year. And I’ll admit it, I’m one of those annoying people who start humming Christmas songs as soon as Halloween is over. People love Christmas for many reasons – the spirit of giving, the lights, the magic and wonder, the prettily-wrapped presents, and of course, the food!

Christmas food is a real treat. We all have our own special recipes for Christmas dinner that we only make that one time of year. Here are some strange Christmas meals we found around the world.

Japan - KFC for Christmas dinner   In many Japanese homes a KFC bucket with fried chicken is the main dish at Christmas. Thanks to a lack of turkeys and smart marketing by KFC the fried chicken  is so popular you have to order weeks in advance for the holidays. Ozchin/Flickr Photo: Ozchin (flickr) / SF

Japan – KFC for Christmas dinner
In many Japanese homes a KFC bucket with fried chicken is the main dish at Christmas. Thanks to a lack of turkeys and smart marketing by KFC the fried chicken is so popular you have to order weeks in advance for the holidays. Ozchin/Flickr

Photo: Ozchin (flickr) / SF

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Greenland – Eat “Kiviak” – fermented birds

Feel like something else this Christmas? How about Greenland’s top dish Kiviak? To make Kiviak you put up to 500 whole auks (local birds) including feathers, beaks and all in a seal skin, which is then sewn up and sealed with grease. You put a large rock on top to keep the air content low and then you let the whole package sit for months. When you open it up the auks are fermented and smell like Stilton cheese and are quite tasty apparently. It is also tradition on Greenland that on Christmas night the men look after the women, serving their food and coffee and stirring the meal for them. (That part sounds better than the auks.)

For the curious one, here is a video on how to eat Kiviak. (Photo: Inga Sorensen)

Photo: Inga Sorensen / SF

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Britain: Stirring the Christmas Pudding

In Britain, the Christmas Pudding, also called plum pudding, is a big deal. Many families have their own recipes that go back generations. The puddings are almost black, thanks to the long cooking time and the dark sugar, and are moistened with juice or brandy. Usually, you make the pudding at least four or five weeks before Christmas, and it can last up to a year. Traditionally, every member of the household stirs the pudding while making a wish. When it’s time to serve the pudding, tradition calls for bathing it in brandy and setting it on fire.

(This Christmas pudding was made and photographed by Musical Linguist in December 2005.)

Photo: Musical Linquist, Wikipedia Commons / SF

Sweden: Find the almond in the rice pudding  In Sweden, you eat rice pudding at Christmas (before or after the Smorgasbord) and the big question is: Who will get the almond? There is one peeled almond hiding somewhere in the rice pudding and the lucky one who gets it will get married within a year. / SF

Sweden: Find the almond in the rice pudding 
In Sweden, you eat rice pudding at Christmas (before or after the Smorgasbord) and the big question is: Who will get the almond? There is one peeled almond hiding somewhere in the rice pudding and the lucky one who gets it will get married within a year. / SF

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