1. Coquilles Saint-Jacques (France)
Scallops with herbs and cheese, served in little shells as an appetizer. Add that to the list of reasons to move to France. Recipe here.
2. Chiles en nogada (Mexico)
This festive dish is comprised of meat-stuffed, fire-roasted poblano peppers covered in a creamy walnut sauce and a pomegranate seed garnish. Recipe here.
3. Feast of Seven Fishes (Italy)
Calamari, linguini with clams, shrimp scampi — everything about this dinner commemorating the wait for the birth of Jesus is absolute perfection. Recipe here.
4. Hallacas (Venezuela)
These little packages of goodness are stuffed with a mixture of capers, raisins, peppers, and various meats and wrapped in maize and plantain leaves. Recipe here.
5. Zakuski (Russia)
These fishy appetizers feature many sour and salty flavors, making them excellent with shots of vodka. Recipe here.
6. Ceia de Natal (Brazil)
This Brazilian Christmas turkey feast is unlike anything else, with a marinade made from champagne and spices. Recipe here.
7. Sachertorte (Austria)
8. Doro Wat on Injera (Ethiopia)
This spicy meat stew is perfect on the spongy bliss that is injera. Recipe here.
9. Chicken Bones Candy (Canada)
A Canadian Christmas favorite, these candies are beloved by children and adults alike as they are basically cinnamon tootsie roll pops (with creamy milk chocolate in the center.) Buy here.
10. Vitel Toné (Argentina)
This dish comes from the Italian immigration into Argentina in the late 1800s/early 1900s and is a platter of sliced veal covered in a tuna sauce and capers. It’s surprisingly light and the flavors all compliment one another. Recipe here.
11. Stollen (Germany)
The delicious version of fruit cake, made with rum, spices, and a sugary coating. Recipe here.
12. Lampreia de Ovos (Portugal)
This sweet egg cake is a Portuguese luxury and is baked in the shape of a sea lamprey. Recipe here.
13. Imbuljuta tal-Qastan (Malta)
Heaven exists, and it can be found in this cocoa-chestnut soup. Recipe here.
14. Porkkanalaatiko (Finland)
This spiced carrot casserole is Finland’s answer to American Thanksgiving sweet potatoes. Recipe here.
15. Ciorba de perisoare (Romania)
Basically a ton of meatballs in a sour vegetable broth. What’s not to love? Recipe here.
16. Risalamande (Denmark)
This almond-cherry rice pudding is a holiday staple, and traditionally involves placing a small treat (such as a tiny toy or whole almond) into the mix and rewarding whoever finds it in their bowl. Recipe here.
17. Hangikjöt (Iceland)
Does anything really beat a smoked leg of lamb? Recipe here.
18. Mince pies (England)
These delicate little pies are filled with a fruit-and-beef-suet concoction and are a signal that the holidays are fast approaching. Recipe here.
19. Bibingka (Philippines)
This rice-coconut-cheese cake is insanely moist. Recipe here.
20. Pavo Trufado de Navidad (Spain)
Turkey stuffed with truffles yessssssss. Recipe here.
21. Kulkuls (India)
India may have a very small Christian population, but that doesn’t mean the celebration is sparse in any way. Just look at these adorable coconut cookies! Recipe here.
22. Chicken Soup Avgolemono (Greece)
Avgolemono is served as a first course at a Christmas feast, and with its blend of chicken, lemon, egg, and rice is absolutely enticing. Recipe here.
23. Janssons Frestelse (Sweden)
Finely cut shoestring potatoes and anchovies make up this tasty casserole. Recipe here.
24. Tamales colorados, negros/Chuchitos (Guatemala)
An assortment of tamales is popular among Guatemalan Christmas and New Year and each kind must be eaten one at a time. Recipe here.
25. Beigli (Hungary)
Hungarian poppy seed cake is sold everywhere during the Christmas season, but is so much better when you can make it at home. Recipe here.
26. Akoho sy voania (Madagascar)
Chicken-coconut stew over rice is the perfect winter comfort food. Recipe here.
27. Spiced Beef (Ireland)
Spiced beef is an Irish holiday favorite and involves a flavorful fruit and spice rub. Recipe here.
28. Bigos (Poland)
“Hunter’s stew” is a delightful and rich blend of various meats, mushrooms, and cabbage, making it the hearty meal everyone craves on Christmas. Recipe here.
29. Fried chicken (specifically KFC-brand) and Kurisumasu Keiki (Japan)
KFC had a very successful Christmas ad campaign in the ’70s and ever since, its fried chicken is a must-have for Japanese Christmas. That, and Kurisumasu Keiki, which is a strawberry sponge cake. Basically, Japan wins Christmas.