In Japan, Christmas day is one of the worst places to visit KFC because everyone is going for buckets of drumsticks to enjoy with their family. Some KFC joints actually require you to book in advance because instant orders won’t be served on Christmas day. That is not the strangest Christmas eating tradition in the world though. Christmas is all about spreading cheer and sharing the love and food is at the heart of all of it. Every community has its way of preparing and enjoying their Christmas foods and while most are nice and fulfilling, some like these 10 are outright stomach-churning…
Mopane Worms: South Africa
Bugs are definitely the last thing anyone wants on their plates on Christmas, especially fried ones. However, in South Africa, Mopane worms have been eaten for years as a source of protein and Christmas is one of the best days to eat the delicacy. The worms are actually caterpillars mostly found on the leaves of the mopane tree which the locals harvest, dry and fry or pound before eating. They are actually a healthy source of protein especially in rural areas where other protein sources are difficult to come by.
Lechon is Spanish for suckling pig which essentially means a piglet that hasn’t been fed anything apart from its mother’s milk. It is a popular dish in the Philippines served during special occasions especially Christmas which is very popular in the country. The pig is roasted whole over coals until the skin is red and crispy and the flesh is soft and falling of the bone. It is usually stuffed with spices such as tamarind, onions, garlic and lemongrass. It is now popular all over the world but not to the faint-hearted that don’t want to eat a whole pig with the head still intact.
Mattak And Raw Whale Blubber: Greenland
If you don’t have a strong stomach, then Greenland is probably not the right place for you to spend the holidays. Most restaurants serve Mattak which is basically raw whale skin and fat as well as a layer of cartilage. You have to chew on them for your dinner so you need to be prepared. Raw whale blubber served independently or with soy sauce is another dish that Greenlanders enjoy although it is not the most palatable Christmas dish.
This is an Inuit dish that has been eaten in Greenland for many years. It also happens to be one of the most stomach-churning foods in the world. It is prepared by stuffing seagulls or auk birds into the skin of a disembowelled seal and then burying it under a rock for up to 6 months. The birds are stuffed whole, meaning the feathers, beaks and the insides are still in there. When unearthed, the pungent meal is eaten raw and it is considered a special treat for occasions such as Christmas.
The dish is just a sheep’s head served with potatoes and whatever side dish the restaurant or household prefers. It is a popular Norwegian Christmas Eve dish. The head is prepared by burning the fleece and then smoking the head before salting and boiling it. The brains may be intact or removed but the ears, nose and eyes are cooked with the head and actually eaten first as they are considered the tastiest.
This is another Norwegian dish that has found its way around the world with many more people trying it. The biggest problem with it is that it has to be served with special care to ensure your dishes and cutlery don’t get ruined. The dish is prepared by ageing stockfish or whitefish in water and then moving it to a mixture of water and Iye. The resulting dish is a smelly jelly-like fish whose stickiness and smell just don’t seem to go away.
Christmas Eve Carp: Poland
This happens to be one of the oldest Christmas dishes in the world but it is not the most enticing. It starts with raw freshwater fish that is bought while still alive and preserved at home until it is time to cook it. It is a freshwater fish, so the mud comes with it and many people choose to preserve it in the bathtub until Christmas day. The hard job is washing and deboning the fish.
You may actually find this one in Poland, Ukraine and other countries in Eastern Europe. Some call it the earliest version of Jell-O in the world although the preparation is not the nicest. The main ingredients are bony and cartilage-full parts of pork such as ears and hooves. The not-so-delicious pieces of pork are then mixed with chicken to make a soup which is then cooled into a jelly-like meal.
Eggnog: The US
Eggnog has been consumed over Christmas and New Year in the US and Canada for a long time. Many people call it the egg-milk punch because it is basically an alcoholic drink that also contains milk, milk cream and raw whipped egg yolk and egg white. Some people say it is the perfect cure for hangovers but it is actually one of the most disgusting Christmas drinks out there. It is also not the healthiest food in the world and some versions can cause sickness or even death depending on ingredients and preparation.
CusCuz Paulista, Brazil
This cold cake is made from corn flakes or cornmeal, tomato sauce, tomato pieces, boiled egg, and canned ingredients such as peas, green corn, olives, and sardines. It’s a traditional Christmas dish from São Paulo in Brazil and probably the tastiest one out of this whole list!
Do you know of any other disgusting Christmas dishes? If you do, or you have tried any of those mentioned above why not tell us about it in the comments below.