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We’re all used to a table covered with dishes of turkey, stuffing, roast potatoes and sprouts on the 25th December, but did know, many countries sit down to a festive family meal on Christmas Eve? Not only are they feasting a day earlier but they certainly aren’t having turkey and all the trimmings either...
A day of abstinence from meat means fish dishes and delicacies like fried eel are served throughout Italy on the 24th, before families head out to midnight mass.
All sorts of food is served at the Swedish Christmas table or ‘’julbord’’ – bread, fish (salmon, herring, whitefish and eel), baked ham or ham broth, potato, cheese, meatballs, sausages, beetroot salad and cabbage are popular options.
Many families sit down to a roast turkey, but others may have roasted suckling pig. Though, variations in the meal exist, for instance fish dishes are served in regions near the coast.
A popular Slovakian dish at this time of the year is Kapustnica; a thick, warming cabbage soup.
Ditching the turkey, Danes opt for both duck and pork at their Christmas dinners, accompanied by caramelised potatoes with a rice pudding dish for desert. A single almond is added to the pudding, and whoever gets the nut is given a present.
It’s all about the Christmas carp here. Fish soup and fried carp served with a potato salad tend to be the main elements to the Czech Christmas dinner.
Dishes served tend to vary from region to region. Tamales, pozole, and stuffed turkey can all be cooked up for the big day.
A blend of influence from other cultures, sweets are a big feature at Christmas with dense Christmas fruit cakes and rose cookies, though curry and roasted meat are also served.
Are your taste buds tingling at the thought of Christmas delicacies? If so, take a stroll through the Local Producers’ Market on the 4th-6th December, where you can pick up local produce and artisan goods in the unique setting of the Cathedral Cloister. Or, make the most of great meal deals available during and extra special festive Dine InDurham on 10th-13th December.