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Santa Claus: At Least a Million Meals in One Night

Santa Claus: At Least a Million Meals in One Night

A look at some of the foods left out for Santa on Christmas eve - a tradition that varies widely throughout the world

By FDL on

On Christmas night, as Santa's in flight, delivering his gifts of joy... there's the millions of children, who look to the sky, to see the red man go by.

But as santa works hard, casting love and good zeal - we must always remember the deal - that Santa is busy, casting gifts and good mood - so we better remember his food....

Leaving food for santa and his reindeer is a tradition that spans around the world but the dish, concept and style is different in most countries. It's not all mince pies and milk on Santa's busy night, in fact, most cultures have entirely different ideas for what to leave him on Christmas eve.

The classic tradition is to leave Santa Claus a mince pie with milk - but in some households the idea that Santa might need warming up prevails. In these cases the milk is replaced with a nice glass of sherry. The food as he hits Ireland remains the same but the sherry and milk are usually replaced with some nice filling Guinness.

As Santa approaches the North of Europe and home to the World's Best Restaurant Noma, the food on offer from Danish children is sweet and filling - far away from the Nordic dishes that have made the region such a culinary hotspot, the food offered to Santa (who they call Julemand) is called, Risengrød - a kind of sweet rice pudding. After the heavy pudding in Denmark we guess he heads straight to Sweden where the children there traditionally leave him some coffee - perfect for digestion.

Throughout the Netherlands Santa is generally not left any food - it's here that his horse which drags the sleigh in Dutch tradition is fed. Children leave hay and carrots to keep Sinterklaas' mode of transport well fueled.

Once Santa hits the huge country of Germany he's in for a rest - at least for his belly that is. Children here, who call him Weihnachtsmann, believe that Santa's appetite is for reading and leave him letters.

In the States Santa's in for a fairly varied offering, from decorated pancakes to some people who leave him pickles - however with the country being so big and with the overriding tradition being to leave him cookies and milk - it's in the U.S. that Santa begins to pile on the extra pounds.

Refered to as Old Man Christmas (Viejo Pascuero) when Santa hits Chile he's in for a real treat. Pan de Pascua is a sponge like cake that's packed with zesty ginger and sweetened with honey - there are many varieties of the cake with many people adding a mix of candied fruits. It's similar to the Italian's Panettone Christmas dish or Stollen cake in Germany.

Do you leave any interesting foods for Santa on Christmas Eve?


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