Since recipes for Thanksgiving have pretty much been covered over the past few weeks and everything is posted online, I started wondering: What are some of the traditional Christmas Eve foods from different regions of the country and all over the world?

Many of our Christmas customs have been adopted from the United Kingdom. Their typical dinner consists of roasted turkey or chicken and other types of poultry, like goose, duck or pheasant. Vegetables such as brussels sprouts and potatoes are boiled or steamed. Stuffing and cranberry sauce are included and for dessert a Christmas plum pie.

Here in the United States, our holiday meal consists of roasted turkey, beef or ham with stuffing, corn, green beans, mashed potatoes, yams, sweet potatoes and cranberry sauce. Desserts often reflect ethnic background. There's pumpkin pie, apple pie, mince pie, sugar cookies, carrot cake, panettone and fruitcake. (Although I don't understand the last one. Does anyone actually serve fruitcake? And with what? I'm serious—I need help here, I want to understand the fruitcake! Maybe someone can write in and tell me more about it.) Then there's Bûche de Noël (a yule log). I have to buy this at the bakery—as much as I like to bake, I can't quite figure out how to do it!

Different regions and people of different ethnic backgrounds around the United States have foods they serve other than the traditional we know too.

Some in the South enjoy baked ham, baked chicken with cornbread stuffing, green vegetables, cornbread, candied yams, black-eyed peas, rice and macaroni and cheese on Christmas. Plus, plenty of apple pie and fruitcake for dessert. In the Southwest, a traditional Christmas dinner might have posole (my favorite soup), tamales and empanaditas! Hawaii has turkey teriyaki and pork with lots of fresh pineapples. And in many in Virginia serve oysters, ham and biscuits.

What people around the world eat on Christmas Eve


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