In the U.S., Christmas dinner has a pretty reliable menu: roast ham, beef or turkey, potatoes, roasted vegetables, cranberry sauce, plus some fruit pies and sugar cookies for dessert. But come to the table outside of North America and you’ll likely find a very different spread. As Christianity spread across the globe, different cultures integrated Christmas into their existing traditions to create some unique holiday dishes. Check them out.
Mattak and kiviak: raw blubber and fermented birds (Greenland)
Greenlanders mark the day with traditional Inuit dishes rarely seen outside the arctic. Mattak (pictured here) is raw whale skin (usually
Bowhead, though beluga and narwhal are also used) diced or serrated before serving. Kiviak isn’t served totally raw, but its method of
preparation is also unusual. First, a seal skin is hollowed out to make room for something like 500 auks, a seabird that looks similar to a small
penguin. The auks, feathers and all, are stuffed into the seal’s body, which is then sewn up and sealed with grease. After seven months of