Bored of the same old pumpkin pie? Take some inspiration from the world’s most festively indulgent holiday foods. From turducken to Christmas cake, these dishes will fill you up with more than holiday cheer.
Kentucky Fried Chicken, Japan
Ah, Christmas. That sacred time when you gather friends and family around the table and proudly plop down a bucket of KFC for dinner. Thanks to a genius marketing campaign by Kentucky Fried Chicken in the 1970s, that’s a tradition in Japan. Since Christmas isn’t a big holiday there, marketing executives seized on the empty space, with the slogan “Kentucky for Christmas” and a themed “party barrel” full of fried chicken. The tradition holds strong today, and is so popular that you’ll have to pre-order your meal (which can be paired with cake or sparkling wine, also sold by the chain) and stand in line to pick it up.
Turducken, United States
Turducken is quite possibly the most American dish ever. It’s for when you just can’t decide which kind of meat you want, so you mash the first three animals you can think of into one unnatural Frankenstein specimen. Turducken is made by stuffing a chicken inside a duck, which is then wedged into a turkey. Make it extra American by tossing it in the deep fryer.
Eggnog, Various Countries
Eggnog may be a drink, but you should think of it more as a meal replacement shake. This creamy beverage packs about 400 calories, 19 grams of fat, and 21 grams of sugar into one cup. On the bright side, you’ll also get about 9.7 grams of protein (and maybe a nice buzz if it’s spiked).
Christmas Cake, Great Britain
Like Twinkies, Christmas cake is good to have on hand in case of an apocalypse, as it will stay good for an alarmingly long time. Christmas cake is traditionally made months ahead of time, in order to give the flavors of the dried fruit and spices time to mingle together. Fortunately, the cake is soaked in a good amount of alcohol that keeps it preserved until it’s ready to eat.
The 13 Desserts of Christmas; Provence, France
If you’re having Christmas dinner in Provence, you’d really better save room for dessert. The post-meal tradition requires that 13 different types of sweets (like marzipan candy or dates) are served and that each guest has a small bite of each dish. “No leaving the table until you finish your 13 desserts” would have been much more fun to hear at our childhood dinner table rather than mandates over broccoli.
Traditionally made for Hanukkah, latkes are potato pancakes that are fried in plenty of oil, then served with toppings such as sour cream or apple sauce. Much like potato chips, it’s pretty much impossible to eat just one latke, which is unfortunate since each tiny treat has about five grams of fat.
Nicknamed “Mexican Christmas fritters,” buñuelos are sure to put you in the holiday spirit (by means of a sugar rush). Buñuelos are made from fried dough topped with cinnamon sugar and served with warm honey or syrup for extra sweetness. They’re traditionally paired with hot chocolate to really up the cavity risk factor.
More from SmarterTravel:
- 10 Most Fattening Foods in the World
- 8 Foods You Should Never Eat Before Flying
- 10 Foreign Fast Food Chains We Want in the U.S.
Caroline Morse Teel wants all of these fattening holiday foods. Follow her on Instagram @TravelWithCaroline for food and travel photos from around the world.
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