• From New Year to birthdays, there is always a celebration that’s cause for some extra special and delicious food. Food traditions are the backbone of many family interactions and what’s not to love about good old fashion comfort food for a celebration. We thought we would share some food traditions from around the world to inspire a new tradition or simply to take you on a flavour journey from within the comfort of your kitchen.

    New Year in Mexico

    Tamales are famous throughout Mexico as a food enjoyed at just about any occasion. Over the New Year, tamales are earnestly enjoyed in great volumes either bought from local vendors or homemade. These parcels of corn dough stuffed with meat, cheese, salsa and seasoned with ground chilli and other spices, are wrapped in a paper-like corn husk or banana leaf and steamed or baked to perfection.

    Diwali in India

    Throughout this holiday, a range of sweets are devoured – however, there are a few savoury favourites that will definitely make an appearance during the festival of lights. For one, there are Samoosas with various fillings that are chock full of delicious spices. Typically, these parcels are filled with cooked veggies that are flavoured with spices for curry. Breyani is another dish that makes an appearance at almost any celebration. It’s considered to be a very lavish dish when it’s done right, and often families will use their very special breyani recipe, sometimes a closely guarded secret.

    Ramadan in the Middle East 

    This holy month is marked by fasting from sunrise to sunset. Before sunrise and after sunset, families and communities gather to share large meals. These meals are generally highly nutritious in anticipation of the fast ahead. Spicy tagines or spiced stews are often the centrepieces of meals over Ramadan. Meat or vegetarian variations of tagines contain dried fruit such as apricot and cranberries and are served topped with toasted nuts like flaked almonds and pistachios.

    Chinese New Year 

    Chinese New Year is celebrated on Lunar New Year’s Eve and sets the tone for the year to come. Food is a central feature of this celebration, including dishes that are considered lucky, to usher in the new year with prosperity. Dumplings are eaten in huge volumes and are filled with a variety of choices – most commonly a dumpling wrapper is filled with pork, cabbage and spring onion and steamed. Dumplings represent wealth, and typically families will wrap their own dumplings and celebrate until midnight to signify leaving the old year behind.

    Foods are used around the world to mark special celebrations and bring people together. In our global village, these traditions are making their way far and wide finding themselves in kitchens and on dining tables the world around.

    Imka Webb

    Imka Webb is a freelance digital marketing expert and the digital editor of Food & Home Entertaining magazine.  www.imkawebb.com