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What’s in Your Christmas Dinner?

By David T. Valentin

Growing up, every year after the winter break in school our teachers would have us go around the classroom asking us how was our winter break and how was our Christmas Day? Coming from a predominantly Italian-American area, it was standard for holiday meals that consisted of about four courses at minimum and six courses for some kids with a mountain of food for each course.

Every year when the teacher got to me, I’d tell her about my winter break and that my favorite part of the meal was the chipotle BBQ wings we make. And that, apparently was strange for some kids. “Why would you have chicken wings for Christmas? Isn’t that a summer thing?”

I didn’t think it was that strange, considering people have roast chicken for holiday dinners (which, I think, is pretty boring to me)?

So, it got me thinking. What are some of the most popular dishes for a Christmas dinner?

According to an article by GoodtoKnow, which looks at a recent survey conducted by ASDA (a British supermarket retailer) that asked 2,000 British citizens what their Christmas favorite treats were, the standard turkey, ham, roast chicken and veggies seem to dominate their list. Foods like carrots, Brussels sprouts and broccoli seem to be favorites in British homes during the holidays.

The United states seems to be no different. This year Delish posted an article listing the most popular dishes across the states. While some of the states seem to stick to the basics, like turkey, ham, and roasted chicken, other states prepare different meats in different ways.

According to Delish, in Hawaii the favorite meal of the day is Kalua Pork. Kalua Pork is usually prepared in an underground oven made from coal and hot stones, or what they called an imu. Then they take Ti leaves, layer it over the pork, then cover it with a burlap sack and then cover the hole back up with some soil. The pork is then removed several hours later, shredded and served. Of course, if you don’t have space for a giant hole in your backyard, you can always cook the pork in a slow cooker.

Over in Arizona, one of their most popular dishes to their Christmas meals is Flan mostly due to their strong Latin American influence. In Louisiana they make a mean gumbo, Maryland has crab cakes and Nebraska, Montana, and Idaho all do some roast of delicious, sizzling steak.

While turkey does seem to be a standard in mostly everyone’s Christmas meal (though, I don’t know why anyone would eat such an inferior piece of meat at any time of the year), it’s always good to switch it up and keep your family’s and your guests’ taste buds on their toes.


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