Potatoes: celebrated in holidays around the world

Nearly ever culture across the globe has a celebration during the cold, short days of winter. These celebrations usually involve uniting family and friends, and feasting on lots of amazing food. No matter where the winter season finds you, you’ll usually find potatoes there, too.

We love trying new things, so here’s a quick round up of favorite potato dishes made around the world at holiday time.

In Russia, Christmas was banned during the Soviet era. So Russians adapted their New Year’s celebration to include many Christmas traditions. They decorate a New Year’s Tree, exchange presents, expect a visit from Grandfather Frost, and dig in to lots of traditional dishes. Mimosa Salad is one traditional dish that includes potatoes. Check it out.

In Scotland, the big winter holiday is Hogmanay—a tradition most likely inherited from the Vikings. Celebrated on December 31, the party can go on into the first couple days of January and includes customs like “first-footings” and dishes like Rumbledethumps, a delicious potato, cabbage and onion creation. Here’s a recipe to try.

Jewish people around the world celebrate Hanukkah with an absolutely delicious potato dish you’ve probably tried: latkes (in Yiddish) or livivot (in Hebrew.) Because Hanukkah is a celebration of oil—specifically the oil that burned for eight days in the holy Temple, latkes (a sort of fried potato pancake) help remind us of the miracle of oil. Here’s a great recipe that recently came to our attention.

Not quite a holiday meal, but worth checking out anyway is nikujaga, a traditional Japanese winter comfort food. It’s exactly the kind of dish your mom would serve on a cold Sunday night. Styled after British beef stew, it’s made from steak, potatoes and vegetables in a soy sauce. Learn how to make it here.

Next time you want to add a new dish to your holiday spread, try one of these!