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Beth Peluse

Holiday Meal Traditions

Holiday Meal Traditions From Around The World

By | Food | No Comments

Surrounding most holidays, you’ll find a wide assortment of holiday meal traditions that vary by country and even by region.  Nothing says “Happy Holidays” like sitting down with your loved ones to share a hearty meal.

Here, in the U.S., when we hear the words “holiday meal”, we think of roasted turkeys or hams, mashed potatoes, and tasty pies. We thought it would be interesting to showcase a few holiday meal traditions in countries where you can experience a Taste Vacation:

 

Italian Holiday Meal Traditions

Holiday Meal Traditions Italy

Photo credit: Ink Foods

Though Italians celebrate from the beginning of December (St. Nicholas’s Day – Dec 6) until the beginning of January (The Epiphany – Jan 6), Christmas Eve or La Vigilia (The Vigil) is a special day where people fast during the day and gather together that night for a festive celebratory meal of fish and seafood. The tradition of serving fish and other seafood comes from the Roman Catholic practice of abstaining from meat on the eve of a feast day. Here in the U.S., you may have heard of the Feast of the Seven Fishes which is the Italian-American version of this Southern Italian tradition.

Chilean Holiday Meal Traditions

Holiday Meal Traditions Cola de Mono

Photo credit: CocktailMocktail

Chilean’s big holiday celebration meal lands on Christmas Eve or La Noche Buena. And similar to here in the U.S., roast turkey, beef or other meats are served accompanied potatoes, vegetables, and sometimes rice. Traditionally, red wine, like delicious Chilean Carmenere, or a drink called “Cola de Mono” (Monkey’s Tail) is also served. The Cola de Mono is similar to a White Russian cocktail but is made with brandy and has a cinnamon stick as garnish.

Spanish Holiday Meal Traditions

Holiday Meal Traditions - Spain

Photo credit: Ben Sutherland

The Spanish celebrate the holidays above all else at the table, and not just at one big meal. Traditionally, they enjoy five delicious leisurely meals that can stretch on for hours, starting on Christmas Eve (Dec. 24) and ending on Three Kings Day (Jan. 6).  Each meal consists of an appetizer of various tapas such as ham croquettes, boiled shrimp, or paté on crackers, a first course of soup most likely filled with more tasty seafood, a second course of roasted fish or meat, and finally dessert, which can be a whole meal on its own – no wonder it takes hours to consume!

Belgian Holiday Meal Traditions

Holiday Meal Traditions la bûche de Noël

Photo credit: AllRecipes

The traditional holiday meal in Belgium is eaten on Christmas Eve, but the cuisine can vary according to the region, just like the languages spoken there (French, Dutch, and German).  Though the details may differ, the holiday meal typically starts with a toast with an apertif and is followed by the main meal of roast duck, goose, turkey, or lamb, accompanied by vegetable and potato dishes. A traditional Christmas chocolate log cake or “la buche de Noel” is then served to cap off the celebration, decorated to resemble a real log.

Does your family have any holiday meal traditions? Are they regional, cultural, or did you make up ones of your own? Whatever your holiday meal traditions are, we wish you Buon Appetito, Buen Provecho, Bon Appétit, or Guten Appetit!

Tuscany Off the Beaten Food Path

Tuscany: Off the Beaten Food Path

By | Food

Tuscany has it all – beautiful scenery, delicious wine, and amazing cuisine. No wonder it’s one of the most popular destinations in the world for food and wine lovers alike.

A typical itinerary for a trip to Tuscany would include visiting the beautiful piazzas of Florence, eating as much gelato as possible, and drinking Italian wine at a cafe nestled in a small winding back street. This sounds like a truly enjoyable trip, but why not go a step beyond the normal tourist vacation? Tuscany has many unique experiences just waiting to be discovered by the intrepid foodie.

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Your New Favorite Wine

Your New Favorite Wine Is Waiting To Be Discovered

By | Wine

We can all be creatures of habit in one aspect of our lives or another – including which wines we drink! When is the last time you chose a wine that wasn’t one of the old standards – Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay?

It’s time to change things up a bit and try something new. After all, you never know if you’re about to meet your new favorite wine!  Let’s take a little journey through some iconic wine regions and find a few wines that you may not have tasted yet. First up, Tuscany!

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2018 Argentina Wine

Good News For Argentina Wine Lovers

By | Wine

Argentina is becoming increasingly well known for it’s incredible Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Torrontés, and more.  Over the past decade or so, Argentina has become the New World’s fastest growing exporter of wines.

For the past several years, wine regions throughout Argentina have dealt with challenging vintages though, due to both the weather and political climate.  This year (2018) has proven to be a welcome change from the norm by bringing in both a higher quantity and quality of grapes.

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2019 Tour Schedule

Start Planning – 2019 Full Tour Schedule Announced!

By | Taste Vacations

Ready to start planning your vacation for next year? Good news, we’ve finalized the Taste Vacations 2019 tour schedule! We are thrilled to again be offering a variety of food, wine, and beer vacations here in the U.S. and abroad.

We’ve kept in our favorite experiences but have also updated a few details in each itinerary. We are committed to providing the best tours possible which is why we take our guest’s feedback very seriously and continuously address our itineraries accordingly.

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