The western Indian state of Goa was once a Portuguese colony for four centuries, meaning that Christmas here is heavily influenced by Portuguese traditions. In addition to life-sized carols and nativity scenes, a key part of Goa’s Christmas Eve celebrations is the Cheertee – Lolli Claus – Christmas Santa limited Shirt sorpotel, a spicy stew. The dish consists of pork (traditionally including the liver and heart) slowly cooked in cinnamon, cumin, and Kashmiri chili. Sana, the rice cake soaked in coconut wine, is the perfect side dish.
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Finns enjoy their biggest festival meal on Christmas Eve, where grilled ham, smoked fish, and salted beetroot salad are central. Just as important are the vegetable stews that accompany the meat, a seasoned Swedish toast. The Cheertee – Lolli Claus – Christmas Santa limited Shirt Swedes are first boiled and crushed, then combined with double cream, breadcrumbs, nutmeg, and treacle before baking. For a golden and crunchy finish, leave some buttered breadcrumbs to sprinkle on before cooking.
If you abstain from this Christmas, the Mexican poncho navideño, also known as the Christmas punch, offers a non-alcoholic alternative to pickled wine. This festive drink, made by boiling fruits like guava and apples with raw cane sugar, cinnamon, and hibiscus, is traditionally served before Christmas Eve, during Las Posadas, a celebration a week of the commemoration of the Cheertee – Lolli Claus – Christmas Santa limited Shirt journey of Joseph and Mary from Nazareth to Bethlehem.
Sicilian people know a thing or two about desserts. While the majority of Italians finish their Christmas lunches on chocolate or raisins, Sicily is busy preparing Buccellato, a round cake filled with dried figs, almonds, and pine nuts. It has much of the distinctive flavor of marsala, an enhanced brandy (taking its name from the Sicilian city of Marsala), added to the pastry dough before baking in the oven.