Christmas is a wonderful time for honouring long-standing family traditions or even introducing some new traditions of your own.
This Christmas, the international SuperGrocer and Liquor Boss at the Canberra Outlet has everything you need to create a fantastic multicultural festive feast over Christmas and the New Year.
The staff at Super Grocer and Liquor Boss is proud to offer a huge range of different foods from around the world, including gourmet and international foods, as well as a vast range of liquor to add some international flare and excitement to their Christmas celebrations and gifts.
In fact, the World of International and Gourmet Food is what sets the SuperGrocer apart. With dedicated ranges from Italy, Greece, Spain, Balkans, Eastern Europe, South America, South Africa, Middle East, the Pacific Islands and New Zealand, UK, India, Asia and many more, it’s the ultimate foodies’ delight and it’s right here in Canberra!
Aside from a spectacular international range of goods, it also sources products from many local suppliers, including Dom’s Italian Woodfired Bread (which arrives in the mornings still warm), as well as Pialligo Estate smokehouse smallgoods, Canberra Distillery Gins, Unicorn Spirits Vodka and Gin Liqueur, and a wide range of local winery products.
However you choose to celebrate Christmas this year, whether with new traditions or old, the SuperGrocer and Liquor Boss at the Canberra Outlet Centre is a great place to start your shopping.
Looking for inspiration to create your own multicultural Christmas celebration? Here are a few ideas to get you started …
In Japan, since the 1970s, it’s been an incredibly popular tradition to visit KFC for fried chicken on Christmas Eve! No offence to the fast-food chain here, but if you’d like to make it just a little more special, you could try making your own fried chicken at home, complete with all the accompaniments.
Given the amount of food around this time of year, fasting on Christmas Eve doesn’t sound like such a bad idea, as is the tradition among some Russian communities.
Others break the fast when the first star of the evening appears, with a delicious bowl of ‘sochivo’ or ‘kutia’, a porridge made from wheat or rice served with honey, poppy seeds, fresh or dried fruit such as berries and raisins, chopped walnuts or even fruit jellies! The kutia is sometimes eaten from one common bowl, symbolising unity.
If porridge doesn’t take your fancy, you could end the day with a cup of tea, coffee or hot chocolate and a thick slice of ‘Panettone’, the traditional Italian Christmas Cake. It’s like a dry fruity sponge cake, and having rediscovered this myself recently, I can promise you that a good-quality Panettone is soft, tasty and very more-ish!
Or you could whip up a special ‘bûche de Noël’, which is a chocolate cake in the shape of a log that’s eaten for dessert on Christmas Eve in France and French-influenced countries like Vietnam and Belgium.
Another lovely tradition that emerges from China is the gifting of apples to loved ones on Christmas Eve; not least of all, because the word for ‘apple’ in Mandarin sounds very similar to the word for ‘peace’.
Of course, it makes sense to include something from Finland on your menu, given it’s widely recognised as the original home of modern-day Santa Claus. In the current climate, you might just need to step outside your front door to experience the traditional Finnish Christmas sauna (!); but otherwise, your Christmas table should be laden with lutefish (salt fish) for a starter, followed by cured salmon and roast pork with mashed potatoes and swedes.
Finish up with a rice pudding topped with spice plum jam that contains a secret hidden almond (whoever finds it has good luck for the year!)
Anyone with Croatian family or friends knows they know how to make delicious food! Christmas is another great opportunity to enjoy ‘sarma’, Croatian cabbage rolls filled with minced pork meat; and ‘krafne’, sweet donuts filled with jam, jelly, marmalade or chocolate, and ‘fritule’ which are flavoured with lemon and rum.
Poland is equally strong in the cooking and dessert game, so maybe try ‘kolaczki’, a scrumptious jelly-filled soft biscuit, with dough made from sour cream or cream cheese.
In Iceland, the traditional Christmas meal is roast lamb, though you might want to pass on the traditional cooking method of smoking it over sheep’s dung (it may not make you very popular with your neighbours or your guests).
What will make you popular with your neighbours is sharing around an ice cream cake, which is often a part of Christmas celebrations in South Korea!
Our Australian Christmas might be better suited to taking inspiration from Africa, including countries like Kenya, Namibia and South Africa, where they often celebrate with a ‘braai’ barbecue. Africans will reel back in horror at the idea of a braai cooked up on your backyard gas barbecue though. No, no, a proper braai means cooking over flames – so in case of a total fire ban – you might want to have a back-up plan.
You could also try your hand at making tamales, the traditional Christmas dinner of Venezuela or Costa Rica. Tamales are a wrap made out of cornmeal dough, stuffed with meat and spices, then steamed. Yum!
Christmas isn’t such a huge deal in India, but locals in Goa who do like to celebrate the occasion hand out popular sweets such as ‘neureos’ (small pastries stuffed with dry fruit and coconut, and then fried) and ‘dodol’, which is like a toffee that has coconut and cashew in it.
And finally, on New Year’s Day, you might also like to celebrate St Basil’s day like the Greeks, and bake a special cake called ‘Vasilopita’ which has a coin cooked inside it. Depending on the recipe you use, it might be sweet or more like a bread, but traditionally, the first slice is for Jesus, the second slice is for Mary, the third is those living in poverty, and the fourth for the household. Then the remaining slices are given to the members of the family depending on their age, starting with the oldest person first.
What are your family food traditions at Christmas? Are you thinking of trying anything new this year?
The SuperGrocer is open Monday to Saturday 9:00 am – 6:30 pm and Sunday 9:30 am – 6:00 pm.
Liquor Boss is open Monday to Saturday 9:30 am – 6:30 pm and Sunday 9:30 am – 6:00 pm.
To see The Canberra Outlet’s extended opening hours this Christmas, visit their website.
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