The holidays are a great time to eat, drink, exchange cards, and be merry with family, friends, and even strangers. Therefore, bonding over special holiday delicacies is an inevitable part of the festivities.
One long upheld holiday tradition in every family is celebrating over a one-of-a-kind delicacy that won’t be forgotten anytime soon. Be it over breakfast, lunch, or dinner, that special meal is a part of the holiday affair everyone looks forward to, regardless of age.
Therefore, the importance of making the delicacy as memorable as possible can’t be stressed enough. This often leaves the bulk of the holiday preparations solely on the food, and ultimately, on the shoulders of the dignified figure handling the department.
Luckily, lots of resources exist on the internet, which could help solve the problem of coming up with the perfect meal of the day. Furthermore, the majority of these delicacies holds special symbolism to notable holidays in different parts of the world, dating back several generations.
Below is a list of ten holiday delicacies, complete with appetizers and desserts guaranteed to give you and your family a most memorable holiday experience in 2020 and beyond.
1. RICE PUDDING
Rice pudding is a common delicacy in many parts of the world. However, enjoying it as a holiday special is a practice indigenous to Swedes, where the meal is commonly called Risgrynsgrot. This traditional delicacy graces the dinner table of most Swedish families at Christmas, with an almond seed added randomly to one of the bowls.
Swedes believe that whoever eats the bowl of pudding containing the almond would have good luck for the rest of the new year.
2. BUTTER TARTS
As far as holiday delicacies go, butter tarts are an essential part of symbolic festivities like Christmas and Thanksgiving. This special holiday dessert is more common among Canadians, often served alongside a hot cup of coffee for breakfast.
3. CHRISTMAS CAKE
One of the most popular holiday meals globally is the Christmas cake, often served as a dessert on Christmas day. This delicious dish, otherwise known as the British dessert, is a form of fruit cake infused with brandy.
It is a common practice to bake the cake two months before the holidays to allow adequate time to infuse the brandy properly. During storage ahead of Christmas, the baker slowly adds brandy to the cake fortnightly to achieve the desired taste and texture before the final decoration.
A common holiday meal served at Christmas in Puerto Rico is Pasteless, typically made from mashed banana dough and pork fillings. Preparing this tasty meal calls for a high level of expertise, as it involves several time-consuming procedures.
The filling is a combination of adobo blended spice sauce and ground pork. This is added into a traditional masa dough comprising yautia, mashed green bananas, and spices.
Achieving the best taste requires the mixture being wrapped in banana leaves before boiling in hot water until it hardens. Puerto Ricans serve this holiday special alongside rice, pigeon peas, fish, meat, and hot sauce.
5. COTECHINO AND LENTIL SOUP
Lentils are small, flat legumes readily available in parts of Asia, Europe, and North America. In Italy, these lens-shaped legumes, believed to symbolize prosperity due to their coin-like appearance, are a crucial part of the New Year celebration.
Italians enjoy lentil soup, with a generous serving of a spicy sausage traditionally called cotechino as a side dish after a night of festivity. This, they believe, ushers in good fortune and prosperity alongside the new year.
6. WHOLE STEAMED FISH AND UNCUT NOODLES
Most holiday movies usually feature a large bowl of roast poultry set as the focal point of a family dinner, alongside other appetizing dishes. The reason for this is not far-fetched, as over the years, serving poultry during the holidays has become a norm in the western world, be it Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, or Hanukkah.
In some cultures, however, fish takes up a more symbolic role, serving as the main dish at festivities. China, for instance, celebrates New Year’s eve with a large fish, steamed whole, usually served with uncut noodles. The whole fish symbolizes long life, while the uncut noodles is a sign of longevity.
Remarkably, some families in China opt for whole chicken, with head and feet intact, in place of fish. This alternative dish has the same significance despite tending towards the western poultry-trend.
7. CLASSIC PORK CROWN ROAST
Pork is one of the most served holiday delicacies due to its savory nature and its ability to be made into hundreds of other delicacies. One of such versatile holiday meals made from a nice fleshy pound of pork is the classic pork crown roast.
One can prepare it by seasoning the pork overnight with pepper, salt, bay leaves, and other aromatic spices. This meal goes well with onions and glazed apples and is the perfect feast for any holiday.
8. CHRISTMAS STEAK
As the name implies, Christmas steak is best served at Christmas! It is ultimately made from a generous slice of meat, seasoned with salt and spices. For a better restaurant-style finished look, chefs tend to carve the ready-to-eat steak into decorative patterns before adding the preferred dressings.
Usually, the dressing’s recipe to make it a Christmas special calls for chimichurri and salsa roja, two special holiday-hued sauces.
9. CORNBREAD CASSEROLE WITH HAM AND KALE
Casseroles are perfect for every holiday, as it has a way of turning every meal into a celebration. However, to make the most out of the all-time favorite holiday breakfast option, serve this delicacy along with a side dish of ham and kale. This combination makes for the most memorable holiday meal.
10. ROAST PRIME RIB
Wow, your guest with the meaty delight of roast prime rib this holiday season. The two-textured dish achieved by roasting at two different temperature settings at intervals appears hard and crunchy to touch.
However, underneath the crunchy outer layer is a juicy mass of fleshy receptacle, infused with all the unique holiday ingredients. The dish is both surprising and satisfying and can be enjoyed anytime.
With these useful tips and knowledge nuggets at your fingertips, one could never go wrong when planning the perfect holiday.