Within the Caribbean certain foods are eaten at specific times throughout the year. Hot Cross Buns are eaten around Easter, hams are devoured during Christmas, and champagne is toasted to ring in the New Year. This article will take a short trip around the world, and highlight various food traditions observed in specific countries at specific points during the year.
- Rosquillas, Spain
Rosquillas are baked or fried doughnuts (usually made from fermented flour). After baking or frying, they can be dusted with sugar, or flavored with rosemary. In some parts of Spain, some persons even soak them in anise liqueur. These treats are a favorite among Spaniards during the Easter period.
- Capirotada, Mexico
This is a spiced Mexican bread pudding, flavored with raisins, cinnamon, cloves and cheese. Each of these ingredients carry a form of symbolism during the Easter period, as they are said to represent the suffering Christ endured; the cloves represent the nails on the ross, the cinnamon sticks represent the cross itself, and the bread represents the body of Christ.
- Tsoureki, Greece
Tsoureki is brioche-like, but is flavored with essence from the seed of wild cherries. As a finishing touch, Tsoureki is decorated with hard boiled eggs that have been dyed red, that symbolize the blood of Christ.
- Pashka, Russia
This is a pyramid shaped desert made from cheese. It is served around the Easter period in Russia, and is decorated with religious symbols including the letters XB which in Russia symbolizes “Christos Voskres” (Christ is Risen).
5. Bûche de Noël, France
This is a traditional French desert found on tables during the holiday season. It is a sweet, roulade dessert, made from sponge cake and is filled with chocolate butter cream or ganache. It is also known as “Yule Log” in some parts of North America, as it is usually decorated to resemble a log.
6. Tourtière, Quebec
This is a meat pie baked with several meats including pork, veal and beef. Tourtière was traditionally part of the Christmas Révelliion (awakening) in Quebec. The combination of meats used in this meat pie vary depending on what is available at the time.
7. Risgrynsgröt, Sweden
This is a rice pudding sweetened with cinnamon and is served as a desert around Christmas time in Sweden. As per tradition, an almond is hidden in one of the bowls and the guest who receives it is entitled to receive an extra gift.
8. Doro Wat, Ethiopia
Doro Wat is a chicken dish flavored with several spices and stewed for several hours. The dish is topped off with boiled eggs and is traditionally served as part of any Christmas holiday meal.
For New Year’s
- Marzipan Pigs, Germany
These are small pink desserts made from sugary almond paste (marzipan) into the shape of a pig. Pigs symbolize good luck and prosperity in Germany and this dessert is primarily consumed around the New Year, as it symbolizes the promise of an extra sweet new year. In Germany, marzipan pigs are referred to as glücksschwein and can also be made from chocolate and sugar.
- Herring, Poland
Herring is a silvery fish (with a color very close to that of a coin) and are said to symbolize wealth and prosperity for the new year in Poland (and also Western Europe). The fish can be pickled with onions, or served win a creamy sauce.
11. Cotechino con Lenticchie, Italy
Symbolizing prosperity and good fortune in the New Year, Cotechino con Lenticchie is an Italian pork sausage served with lentils. The lentils resemble tiny gold coins, and the pork is said to bring luck.
- Corn Bread, The United States
Cornbread is also said to bring prosperity in the New Year, specifically since yellow corn kernels look like gold. It is most popular in the Southern United States.
These are just a snippet of some of the traditional foods that are served at various times during the year across the world. While every country has its own food tradition, some may be merely variations of foods eaten right here within the Caribbean.
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