Turkey Again for Christmas? Try These International Favourites…

By popular demand, the Chefs of English Lakes will be serving up hundreds of platters of succulent turkey with all the trimmings this Christmas. It’s reckoned that the British nation consumes around 10 million turkeys at this time each year. Why is this country gobbling so many of these big birds and where did the tradition come from?

Turkey Takes Centre-Stage

Prior the early 16th Century, the dishes of choice at Christmas would be goose or cockerel. For those in high society it was more likely to be peacock, pheasant and swan. Turkey was introduced from America and gained popularity because it was relatively inexpensive and quick to fatten.

Dare to break with tradition and skip the turkey this year?
Dare to break with tradition and skip the turkey this year?

The classic menu of turkey with gravy, stuffing, and plum pudding was popularised by Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and some culinary historians would say that this literary description alone moved turkey to Christmas centre stage in homes of both the modest and affluent. However, a more realistic view is that turkey remained a luxury in the UK right up until the 1950s when it started to become more widely available and refrigerators became commonplace.

Around the World on Christmas Day

Whilst 10 million Turkeys are being consumed around our green and pleasant land, we know it is not every nations favourite Christmas dish. Here at English Lakes we asked some of our international guests about their local festive feasts…

Germany

Roast goose and roast carp or suckling pig

Norway

Grilled pork and vegetables on the grill. a Norwegian Christmas delicacy
Grilled pork and vegetables on the grill. a Norwegian Christmas delicacy

Around the coast, concoctions of cod and haddock and a fish called lutefisk. Inland they go for pork chops or specially prepared sausages.

 Italy

7 or more courses including antipasti, a small portion of pasta, a roast meal, followed by 2 salads and 2 sweet puddings – then cheese fruit, brandy and chocolates!

Czech Republic

Fish soup
Fish soup

Fish soup, salads, eggs and carp.

Poland

12 non-meat dishes, representing the months of the year and featuring fish such as pike, herring and carp.

Japan

Fired chicken, a surprising twist on the usual Christmas favourite poultry
Fired chicken, a surprising twist on the usual Christmas favourite poultry

A successful advertising campaign in the 1970s made eating at KFC around Christmas a national custom. Its chicken meals are so popular during the season that stores take reservations months in advance

Jamaica

Rice, gungo peas, chicken, ox tail and curried goat.

India

Chicken Biryani
Chicken Biryani

A variety of dishes, including Biryani with chicken or lamb, chicken and mutton curry, followed by cake or sweets

Here’s a reminder of a few alternative dishes to delight your family and friends at Christmas – 3 Tasty Turkey Alternatives.

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