Marley Spoon celebrates different cuisines every single week - you’ll never see 12 of the same style dishes on the menu. Pizza, curry, tacos, soup, pasta, udon, moussaka, dan dan noodles - you name it, we serve it! We love exploring different cuisines because of the exciting flavours that different cuisines provide, and the stories these flavours tell. Opening up your palette to different cuisines is one of life’s greatest pleasures - and one of the ways we can appreciate and learn about different cultures. So why not Spring clean your cooking routine and spend some time appreciating the variety different cuisines bring to your weekly dinners.

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During the holidays, cultures enjoy amazing traditional dishes that vary widely from country to country, and food is a huge part of any celebration no matter where you live. To honour World Food Day, we’re taking a look at what different cultures munch on at milestones and annual holidays.

Christmas

Most of the foods typically associated with Christmas - such as mince pies and fruit cake - arose from British tradition. In Australia, seafood is often served on Christmas Day, rather than roast meats and ham, due to our warmer weather.

Here are some interesting Christmas food traditions from around the world:

  • France - black and white pudding, which is sausage containing blood
  • French Canada - desserts like doughnuts and sugar pie
  • Germany - gingerbread biscuits and liqueur chocolates
  • Nicaragua - chicken with a stuffing made from a range of fruits and vegetables including tomato, onion and papaya
  • Russia - a feast of 12 different dishes, representing Christ’s disciples.

New Year

  • Greece - a special sweet pastry baked with a coin inside it
  • Japan - up to 20 dishes cooked and prepared one week earlier. Each food represents a New Year’s wish; for example, seaweed asks for happiness in the year ahead
  • Scotland - haggis (sheep’s stomach stuffed with oatmeal and offal), gingerbread biscuits and scones
  • Spain - 12 grapes, meant to be put into the mouth one at a time at each chime of the clock at midnight.

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Weddings

Every wedding in every country has a similar celebration: food, cake & dancing. The food differs dramatically though! Here are some examples:

  • China - roast suckling pig, fish, pigeon, chicken, lobster and a type of bun stuffed with lotus seeds are commonly served.
  • Indonesia - foods served depend on the region and religion, but could include spicy rice dishes like nasi goreng, dim sum, sushi or even Western recipes like beef wellington.
  • Italy - food is a very important part of an Italian wedding. Bow tie-shaped twists of fried dough, sprinkled in sugar, represent good luck. A roast suckling pig or roast lamb is often the main dish, accompanied by pastas and fruits. The traditional Italian wedding cake is made from biscuits.
  • Korea - noodles are served, because they represent longevity.
  • Norway - the traditional wedding cake is made from bread topped with cream, cheese and syrup.
  • Britain - the honeymoon has been said to originate from a time when the father of the bride gave the groom a moon’s (month’s) worth of mead (alcoholic beverage made from honey) before the bride and groom left after the ceremony.

Birthdays

Traditional birthday foods from around the world include:

  • Ghana - the child’s birthday breakfast is a fried patty made from mashed sweet potato and eggs. Traditional birthday party fare includes a dish made from fried plantain.
  • Korea - for their first birthday, the child is dressed and sat before a range of objects including fruit, rice, calligraphy brushes and money. Whichever item the child picks up predicts their future; for example, picking up the rice indicates material wealth. After this ceremony, the guests eat rice cakes.
  • Mexico - a piñata is filled with lollies and other treats. The blindfolded child hits at the piñata until it breaks. The treats are shared amongst the guests.
  • Western Russia - the birthday boy or girl is given a fruit pie instead of a cake.

Happy cooking, and happy World Food Day!