Bring Global Flavors to Your Holiday Table

For most of us, fond holiday memories revolve around food. Familiar recipes we create again and again that take us back to our early days. With December finally upon us, there’s no denying that holiday magic is the air filling our homes, and hearts with childlike anticipation. What makes this time of year truly beautiful is how we converge on a global level, sharing traditions as old as time with our families, and friends. Embracing the many cultural celebrations taking place across all over the world not only bridges the gap in a diverse society, but helps us learn more about one another, and the culinary heirlooms that make the holidays so deliciously festive.  

Why not take your own holiday table around the world this season? What an exciting way to experience new flavors, and perhaps create a new tradition of your own. Active adults living on their own or in a 55+ community may want to host their own global feast asking fellow residents to bring a dish that represents a different holiday. For an idea of what to serve, here are some cultural highlights that will delight the senses. 

Hanukkah Dec. 24th-Jan1st serves a menu steeped in tradition with everything from scrumptious doughnuts to potato latkes, and tender brisket, The Festival of Lights features a variety of fried foods in remembrance of the lamp oil that continued to burn for eight days. 

Christmas Dec. 25th England’s roast goose, France’s Buche De Noel, and Italy’s feast of seven fishes are just a sampling of traditional Christmas fare. Many delicacies such as the fruit studded German Stollen, or marzipan can be purchased ready made in specialty shops or online. 

Winter Solstice(Yule) Dec. 21-23 celebrates the magic of the winter season, and bountiful seasonal ingredients with offerings like steaming mugs of wassail or mulled cider, roasted pork, dried fruits, and of course the always impressive Yule Log.  

Kwanzaa Dec 26th-Jan.1st is filled with foods that feed the soul from smoky collard greens, to black eyed peas to luxurious, creamy grits. Slow cooked stews, and spiced curries are also traditionally served as part of the Kwanzaa feast. 

St. Lucia Day Dec 13th is celebrated in Scandinavia, and features fragrant saffron scented buns known as Lussekatter, mulled wine, and melt in your mouth Swedish meatballs.  Warm spices, and comfort foods bring light into the darkest days of winter. 

Let’s honor our neighbors near, and far by savoring delicious cultural cuisine one ingredient at a time. Take the time to enjoy yourself, and may your celebrations be joyful, your tables be plentiful, and your homes filled with love this holiday season.