The strange circumstances of the past two years have inspired many aspiring chefs and foodies to create new holiday traditions. There’s no better excuse for trying new dishes, drinks, and other culinary creations, inspired by holiday trends around the world.
Here are six international holiday dishes and drinks to add to your holiday line-up this year.
- Italian Panettone
Italy is world-renowned for having incredible food and wine. Panettone is a dessert bread that makes a great addition to any potluck, dessert tray, or as a standalone sweet paired with after-dinner coffee. You can also enjoy panettone for breakfast on Christmas morning with your favorite type of coffee.
This labor-intensive dessert can take five days to create when accounting for feeding the yeast and letting it rise. The outcome can be impacted by changes in humidity and temperature, making this a finicky dessert to make from scratch.
If you’re not feeling up to the challenge of making your own panettone for the holidays, many specialty bakers will do the hard work for you. Panettone often includes chocolate, nuts, or fruit— but the untouched panettone is just as delicious.
- Swedish Glogg
Mulled wine is a well-known and loved holiday cocktail that pairs perfectly with snowy evenings. Glogg is Sweden’s iteration of mulled wine and is reminiscent of a delicious Christmas cake that you can drink. In other words, you’ll be happy to discover that the best Swedish Glogg recipe pairs perfectly with Italian panettone.
What sets Glogg apart from Western mulled wine? This spicy treat is more savory than sweet and is meant to be consumed in smaller quantities. The addition of whiskey adds a powerful punch, and the spice combination offers a bold flavor. Consider this recipe the espresso of wine drinks.
- Mexican Ensalada Nochebuena
In Mexico, Christmas celebrations can last for weeks at a time. This period is filled with traditions, celebrating the religious aspects of the season.
One of the many Mexican holiday traditions is the enjoyment of Ensalada Nochebuena— Christmas Eve Salad— the night before Christmas. This recipe is a part of the Posada tradition, in which families walk together to replicate Mary and Joseph’s Christmas Eve journey.
This delicious salad boasts seasonal fruit and vegetables, such as beets, plantains, jicama, and citrus on a bed of lettuce. Ensalada Nochebuena is meant to be served as a side with a main meat or soup dish.
- German Feuerzangenbowle
If you think the name Feuerzangenbowle sounds like “fire in a bowl,” you’d be right. This delicious holiday recipe includes both a dessert and a drink combined and lit on fire.
The core drink component is a German take on mulled wine (though you could use Glogg if you want). After the wine mixture is ready, you dip a piece of sugarloaf in rum, hold it over the beverage with fire-proof tongs, and carefully light the rum on fire. The rum burns off, melting the sugarloaf into the drink below.
Be extra cautious when trying this one at home.
- Colombian Bunuelos and Natilla
Colombia does the holidays right with a rich serving of Bunuelos and Natilla. Roughly translated: cheese fritters and custard. These versatile treats work in a variety of settings. You can have them as an evening post-dinner treat or add them to a charcuterie board for a special surprise. Depending on your tastes, you can make these sweet, savory, or a little of each.
While Natilla isn’t a custard in the truest sense (custard typically contains eggs), it’s a delicious cream sauce that adds dimension to this delicious dish, often featuring cinnamon and coconut.
- Canadian Moose Milk
Even though it’s just north of the US border, Canada has an array of weird and wonderful unique dishes. From poutine to donair to storm chips, Canada has taken inspiration from its vast multicultural background to create some inspiring foods and drinks.
Moose Milk is a holiday tradition that stems from the Canadian military during WWII. While each faction of the ownership of the military claim, no one really knows how it came to be. Moose Milk is an amped-up version of egg nog that kept soldiers warm in the trenches as December marched on.
Traditional Moose Milk contains coffee, cream, ice cream, coffee liqueur, whiskey, rum, and vodka. Recommended serving: one glass.
Try these incredible international dishes and drinks to shake things up this holiday season. You never know which one might become your next holiday tradition.