This midsummer Christmas lunch is usually a barbecue of prawns, steak and chicken, with ice cream and sorbet for dessert.
Traditionally the meal is eaten on Christmas Eve and consists of fish soup, salads, eggs and carp. The number of people at the table must be even or the one without a partner is supposed to be dead by next Christmas.
Traditional Christmas dinner will be a casserole of macaroni, rutabaga, carrot and potato, with ham or turkey. A mixed platter of meat and fish is also popular. After the meal, it is traditional to have a sauna and then to visit the graves of relatives.
Roast goose is the predominant Christmas meal, accompanied by potatoes, cabbage, carrots, parsnip and pickles. The meal is usually eaten on Christmas Eve. Rural southern Germans feast on game like wild boar and venison.
The Christmas feast may include little Auks (seabirds that resemble Penguins) wrapped in sealskin and buried for months until decomposed.
Christmas lunch can run to more than seven courses, including antipasto, a small portion of pasta, roast meat, two salads and two sweet puddings, followed by cheese, fruit, brandy and chocolates.
The traditional Christmas meal is rice, peas, chicken, ox tail and curried goat.
Christmas dinner is cooked brown peas with bacon sauce, small pies, cabbage and sausage.
The holiday meal is eaten on Christmas Eve and for coastal regions is traditionally cod, haddock and lutefisk. Inlanders eat pork chops, meatloaf and special sausages. Farmers leave a bowl of gruel in barns on Christmas Eve for the magic Gnome who protects their farms.
A special meal is salted dry codfish with boiled potatoes eaten at midnight on Christmas Eve.
Christmas food includes cakes, pies and meat dumplings
A smorgasbord Christmas meal eaten on Christmas Eve includes varieties of shellfish, pork, cooked and raw herring fish, caviar, cheeses, and brown beans.
Huge meat broths are eaten on Christmas Eve, after which children await “Father Frost” to bring presents.
Christmas pudding and mince pies are the favorites.
CHRISTMAS DINNER IN FRANCE 1800
” . . . r퀌�veillon, this word says it all; it is just as well that it comes only once a year, on 25 December, between two and three o’clock in the morning. This meal. . . is designed to restore the faithful, who are exhausted after a session of four hours in church, and to refresh throats hoarse from singing praises to the Lord. . . . A poularde or a capon with rice is the obligatory dish for this nocturnal meal, taking the place of soup, which is never served. Four hors d’oeuvres, consisting of piping hot sausages, fat well-stuffed andouilles, boudins blancs au cr퀌�me, and properly defatted black puddings, are its attendants. This is followed by ox (beef) tongue, either pickled or (more likely) dressed as it would be at this time of the year, accompanied by a symmetrical arrangement of a dozen pigs’ trotters (feet) stuffed with truffles and pistachio nuts, and a dish of fresh pork cutlets. At each corner of the table are two plates of petits fours, including tarts or tartlets, and two sweet desserts, which may be a cream and an English apple pie. Nine more desserts round off the meal, and the faithful – thus fortified – retire to their devotions at the early morning Mass, preceded by Prime and followed by Tierce.”
Grimod de La Reyniere, Almanach des gourmands (1758-1838)
CHRISTMAS IN ENGLAND 1900
“For many of the islanders, this anniversary is memorable (apart from all religious significance) because it evokes a great slaughter of turkeys, geese and all kinds of game, a wholesale massacre of fat oxen, pigs and sheep; they envisage garlands of black puddings, sausages and saveloys . . . mountains of plum-puddings and oven-fulls of mince-pies. . . . On that day no one in England may go hungry …. This is a family gathering, and on every table the same menu is prepared. A joint of beef, a turkey or goose, which is usually the pi퀌�ce de r퀌�sistance, accompanied by a ham, sausages and game; then follow the inevitable plum-pudding and the famous mince pies.”
Alfred Suzanne, La Cuisine anglaise et americaine
-Courtesy of www.hungrymonster.com, with additional reporting by Jason G. Damron