Festive Fare from Greece to Mexico: Booking.com shares insights into global gastronomical delights this season
Over 60 percent of global travelers choose a destination for its great food or drink all year round*, and for many the festive season is as much about the food as it is time with family. To share some food for thought for a seasonal getaway, Booking.com, the global leader in connecting travelers with the widest choice of incredible places to stay, has delved into it’s more than 29 million listing in over 142,000 destinations across the globe to bring you some of the must have holiday feasts around the world .
Glazed Apples in Beijing, China
From sugar plum fairies to sugar apples, this treat stems from a festive phrase rather than a traditionally festive food. It’s become a recent popular tradition to gift Apples on Christmas Eve in China. In Chinese Christmas Eve is called "Ping'an Ye" (平安夜), meaning peaceful or quiet evening, which has been translated from the carol 'Silent Night'. The word for apple in Mandarin is "píngguǒ" (苹果) which sounds like the word for peace, and so the tradition was born. Around Christmas time you’ll find many stores selling glazed apples wrapped in beautifully adorned colored paper.
Where to stay: For a stay that’s as sweet as your glazed apple treats, The Imperial Mansion, Beijing - Marriott Executive Apartments offers the perfect base to explore China’s majestic capital. It’s located conveniently in the center of the Wangfujing commercial area, so the perfect base for taking a bite out of all the city has to offer!
Melomakarona in Athens, Greece
The melomakarono (Greek: μελομακάρονο) is an egg-shaped Greek dessert made mainly from flour, olive oil and honey. Along with kourabies these cookie treats are a traditional dessert prepared during the Christmas holiday season, or even year round for those with a sweet tooth!
Where to stay: The perfect home away from home is the Palladian Home. Located in the heart of Plaka district in Athens, this charming guest house is a short walk from Syntagma Square where the city’s Christmas tree is lit. The perfect destination stroll after over-indulging in honey cookies.
Latkes in Jerusalem, Israel
For many faiths, nearby Bethlehem is the star of Christmas. However, Jerusalem is the ideal spot to sample Hanukkah delicacy Latkes,a crunchy, savory potato cake. This traditional Jewish food served during Hanukkah is famous for being fried in oil, symbolic of the oil that miraculously lasted eight days instead of one in the Hanukkah tales.
Where to stay: Jerusalem’s Old City is a great place to embrace the Christmas season, with plenty of churches and sacred sites to enjoy. Abraham Hostel Jerusalem is a hostel a short walk from the Old City and offers both private rooms and dormitories for guests. It also hosts many social events, including a fun Christmas party for those looking to celebrate with fellow travelers.
Bacalao in Mexico City, Mexico
Bacalao is the Spanish word for dried and salted cod. While this is a common delicacy in Spain and Portugal all year around, the Mexican way is a real Christmas treat when it’s served as a festive fishy stew prepared with tomatoes, onions, green olives, chilies and garlic.
Where to stay: The festive feeling will be alive throughout Mexico City, but nowhere more merry with cheer than the towering Christmas tree (árbol de Navidad) in Mexico City’s main city square, Plaza de la Constitución. Nearby Chaya B&B Boutique is the perfect place to stay in the heart of Mexico City, featuring comfortable rooms, a lovely garden and within walking distance to the traditional style Mexican market, La Ciudadela Market, the perfect place to pick up some last minute Christmas gifts of authentic Mexican handcrafts and folk art. .
Sochivo in Moscow, Russia
Traditionally enjoyed following the Christmas Eve church service, Sochivo is a dish made from of grains of wheat and sometimes lentils, peas and barley soaked in water and mixed with honey. To really embrace this Russian tradition, you should abstain from eating until dusk on Christmas Day when you can see the first star in the sky before enjoying the Sochivo, in memory of the Bethlehem star.
Where to stay: Moscow comes to life at Christmas time thanks to it’s ‘Journey into Christmas’ festival, which includes incredible lights installations, a 100-meter high ice slide and Christmas town at Tverskaya Square. The Four Seasons Hotel Moscow in the heart of Moscow is the perfect base. It’s walking distance from the Kremlin and the Bolshoi Theatre and some rooms even have views of the illuminated light installations in Red Square.
*Research commissioned by Booking.com and independently conducted among a sample of adults who have taken a trip in the last 12 months/plan to take a trip in the next 12 months. In total 18,509 respondents were surveyed (1000+ from France, the UK, Germany, Italy, Brazil, China, India, Russia, Singapore, Spain and the US, and 500+ each from Netherlands, Australia, Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Croatia, Denmark, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand). Respondents completed an online survey in August 2017.