Going through turkey shortages this Christmas, it’s a good time to discover turkey-free Christmas dinner traditions from world wide.

The BC Poultry Affiliation is predicting the province will face a shortage of turkeys for Christmas this 12 months, because of the influence of avian flu.

The affiliation mentioned the business was hit laborious by the illness in November and there might be 20 per cent fewer turkeys accessible for the vacation season, driving up costs for customers.

However whereas turkey dinner with stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy could be the norm in Canada and the U.S., the world’s greater than two billion Christians – and a whole lot of thousands and thousands of non-Christians – have fun Christmas with quite a lot of meals and traditions.

With the turkey scarcity this 12 months, it’s a terrific excuse to take a break from the massive fowl and take a look at one thing totally different, join with your loved ones’s historical past and roots, or dive into the culinary traditions of one other tradition.


Earlier than turkeys have been launched to Europe from the Americas, roast goose was the fowl of alternative for Christmas dinner all through Western Europe.

Goose continues to be a well-liked different to turkey in locations just like the U.Ok. , Germany and Austria. In keeping with the British Poultry Council, Britons eat a quarter-million geese every year at Christmas. The common goose serves six individuals, making it good for smaller household gatherings, or may complement a ham or different protein for the principle dish.

If, like me, you’ve by no means cooked this finicky fowl, don’t fear. Britain’s high celeb chef, Gordon Ramsay, has you lined with his recipe for a perfect British Christmas goose.

For a Germanic tackle this vacation custom, attempt meals blogger Jennifer McGavin’s recipe for Weihnachtsgans – German Christmas goose.

Swap out one fowl for one more and maintain the same old facet dishes, or embrace the change and serve your goose with conventional British, German or Austrian facet dishes and deserts.


Baked ham is a well-recognized sight at Canadian vacation dinners, so it makes for a straightforward and accessible substitute for turkey.

Ham is forgiving to cook dinner and can enchantment to a lot of the household’s fussy eaters. However let’s face it, plain ham could be fairly boring and may have your friends reaching for the jar of mustard.

This recipe for a three-ingredient balsamic-dijon glazed ham is ridiculously simple and can make you appear to be a grasp chef at Christmas. You should definitely slice a cross-hatch sample into the ham utilizing a knife, to permit the glaze to sink in and unfold the flavour into the meat.

In Sweden and different components of Scandinavia Julskinka Christmas ham, is commonly the centrepiece of the Julbord – a buffet-style Christmas dinner, consisting of cold and warm dishes.

Julskinka is cooked, coated in a mustard and breadcrumb glaze, then cooled, sliced and served chilly. A buffet-style Christmas dinner seems like an off-the-cuff, low-stress technique to feed a crowd. Attempt your hand at some conventional Scandinavian facet dishes, or serve with a number of your favorite finger meals.

Filipino Christmas traditions mix Spanish colonial traditions with native flavours and elements.

Jamon or hamon is a dry-cured ham served with a pineapple juice glaze. It’s usually served through the Noche Buena feast on Christmas Eve, together with all kinds of different traditional Filipino dishes together with rice desserts (bibingka and puto bumbong), spring rolls (lumpiang ubod), noodle dishes and extra.


Roast beef or prime rib are additionally widespread function of vacation dinner menus, particularly within the U.Ok. A classic Christmas roast beef pairs nicely with nearly all of the perimeters served with turkey in North America.

Or kick it up a culinary notch by making beef Wellington – beef tenderloin wrapped in pâté, duxelles (a finely chopped mushroom combination), parma ham and puff pastry. The pâté and duxelles soak up the juices of the meat because it bakes, and make sure the puff pastry stays crisp and flaky.


Around the globe, many Catholics abstain from consuming meat on Christmas. Nevertheless, fish doesn’t depend as meat and thus seafood dishes play an essential a part of many Christmas feasts.

The Feast of the Seven Fishes, also called La Vigilia, is a well-liked Christmas Eve custom amongst Italian Individuals and has its roots in southern Italy. Italian American meals blogger Cara Mia Cipolla says her household’s model was an hours-long, multi-course feast together with dishes like shrimp scampi, linguini with clams and mussels, baked clams and halibut, lobster risotto balls and extra, adopted by espresso and cannolis for dessert. However different conventional dishes embody spaghetti alla puttanesca, scallops, shrimp or different Italian seafood dishes.

In Poland and the Czech Republic, fried carp is a foremost function of Christmas dinner. Czechs maintain a scale from the fish of their pockets for good luck.


Talking of Polish Christmas traditions, in Poland, Ukraine and different components of Jap Europe, Christmas Eve dinner is large affair.

In each Poland and Ukraine, Christmas Eve dinner – known as Wigilia in Polish and Sviat Vechir in Ukranian, is a 12-course affair. The 12 programs both signify the 12 months of the 12 months or the 12 Apostles, however both means it’s thought-about impolite and unhealthy luck to not eat at the least a chunk of all 12 programs.

Frequent dishes embody borscht (a beet soup), kutia (a dessert of cooked grains flavoured with honey, fruit, wine and extra), gołąbk (cabbage rolls), a vareity of carp dishes, sauerkraut and, in fact, pierogies (the spelling is commonly shortened to perogies in Canada).

Pierogies, also called varenyky or by different names all through Jap Europe, are an effective way to show cheap elements right into a scrumptious vacation foremost course. But when you’re going to make pierogies the star of your vacation feast, grabbing a bag of cheddar and potato ones from the frozen meals isle doesn’t lower it.

Do-it-yourself pierogies simply style higher, and could be stuffed with a spread of savoury and candy fillings, together with sauerkraut and mushrooms or sweet cherries and fruit. However you may’t go fallacious with a giant plate of potato and cheddar pierogies, fried in onion, bacon or sausage and topped with a dollop of bitter cream.

All through Italy, each area has traditional pasta dishes which play the starring function throughout Christmas festivities. Choose a pasta kind, and doubtless some a part of Italy eats it at Christmas.

In lots of components of Latin America, tamales – a stuffed corn dough dumpling steamed in corn husks or banana leaves – are a giant a part of Christmas celebrations.

Nearer to residence, it wouldn’t be Christmas for a lot of French Canadians with out tourtière, a spiced meat pie stuffed with floor pork, beef or different meats, together with onions and typically potatoes. Historically served with an assortment of pickles on the facet, this Canadian basic makes an ideal Christmas Eve dinner that may be ready upfront.

There are not any scarcity of competition and attractive choices to discover, and for much more concepts try this list of non-turkey Christmas ideas by celeb chef Jamie Oliver. Or, do what the Japanese do, and pick up a bucket of fried chicken and simply calm down on Christmas.

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