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5 Christmas dishes from around the globe

No matter where on the globe you are celebrating, everyone always looks forward to that one dish you only eat on Christmas day. From Malva puddings to tamales and even a bucket of KFC, find out which dishes make their annual appearance in these countries. 

South Africa: Malva pudding 

Like creamy milk tart and heavenly hertzoggies, we can’t imagine any feast without a sweet and creamy bite of malva pudding. This decadent dessert consists of a sponge cake containing apricot jam and deliciously drizzled with a butter-cream sauce (yum), is often enjoyed on special occasions like Christmas and birthdays. Indulge with vanilla ice cream to cut through the sweet caramel flavour.  

Put a spin on the classic malva when you try this tasty chocolate and orange malva pudding recipe. 

Japan: Kentucky Fried Chicken 

Did you know that Japan’s KFC’s busiest time of the year is during Christmas? The tradition of feasting on a barrel of fried chicken for Christmas lunch began after KFC created the (very) successful advertising campaign called “Kentucky for Christmas.” It’s so popular that you must order your barrel weeks in advance. 

Why not make your own? Impress your friends with this fried chicken with a unique South African twist 

Australia and New Zealand: Pavlova 

On Christmas day, you’ll find white meringue cakes sprinkled with fruit and topped with cream at the centre of many Aussie and ‘kiwi’ tables. The classic Pavlova is the perfect balance of sweet, tart and refreshing, making it the perfect sweet dish for summer. And as Christmas happens during the scorching hot days ‘down under’, you’ll find many gleefully devouring this soft and airy dessert. 

@bylaurenmcdermott Yet to meet anyone that can resist a second helping of this! Preheat Oven to 150°c Separate 4 egg whites and whisk them until stiff (use the yolks for mayo, carbonara etc) Add 250g Sugar, one spoon at a time and continue whisking until smooth and glossy. Then add teaspoon each of cornflower, White Wine Vinegar and Vanilla Extract and whisk once more. Dollop onto parchment paper (mark the sizes if you’re making two) Bake for 45 mins in the preheated oven. Don’t open the door, and leave to cool for at least an hour in the oven. Top with whipped cream and fruit. You can sweeten these if you like but I don’t think it’s necessary. #StawberryPavlova #Pavlova #pavlovarecipe #summerpudding #summerrecipe #stawberries #strawberryrecipe #summerdesert #desert #desertrecipe #dinnerpartyideas #eattheseasons #meringue #easyrecipe #easyrecipeideas #easydesert #strawberryrecipe ♬ Belonging – Muted

Mexico: Tamales 

Gifts aren’t the only things Mexicans unwrap on Christmas day. Tamales is a traditional dish in Mexico, dating back several centuries. Tamales are made from masa, which is a dough made from corn. The dough is then filled with meat and vegetables, then wrapped in a banana leaf or a corn husk and steamed. The wrapping is an integral part of the preparation process. The steaming process makes the masa firm, so when you unwrap the leaves, your tamale is ready to eat. Yum!  

@donjuanchilesco Use these simple tips to make better tamales this year ! Tip 1: Spice up your masa by adding Chiles ! We got your back on that ! Tip 2: Try the Masa float test Ensure you have the perfect masa by dropping a small amount in water . If it floats your masa is ready Tip 3: place a coin in the pot so you can tell if the water has evaporated (you’ll know you need to add more water when the jiggling noise from the coin stops). Tip 4: tie the ends of your tamales 🫔 who doesn’t love unwrapping delicious tamales ! #tamales #tamalesmexicanos #tamalehacks #tamaleseason #tamales #masa #cornhusk #chiles #mexicanspices #mexicanrecipes #foodhacks #tamalehacks #foodporn #coloradosprings ♬ hotel r a s p u t i n service – veggibeats

England: Traditional trifle 

English (and South African) Christmas lunch tables wouldn’t be complete before this quintessential British dessert makes its annual appearance. Originating in the 18th century, trifle was created to make use of stale cake. The cake was soaked in alcohol and stacked with fruit and custard in a round bowl. Today, it’s still enjoyed as a popular dessert and a yummy, sweet dish many look forward to each year! 



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Impress your loved ones with sweet, sensational twists of this traditional English dessert 

Photography: Zhann Solomons

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