Celebrate the Holidays With Heritage Cooking

With the holiday season comes good food and family time. As we prepare to host our parents, in-laws, aunties, and grandmothers, one of the biggest questions we ask ourselves is, “What are we going to eat?” We believe one of the best ways to spend time with your loved ones is cooking together, especially when preparing a treasured family recipe.
How Heritage Cooking Helps Preserve Cultural Recipes
Heritage cooking means celebrating your culture with food. It usually entails making a family recipe or following culinary traditions passed down for generations. These cultural cooking traditions are important because they teach the younger cooks in your family how to make traditional food, so the technique never gets lost.
Heritage cooking has helped many immigrant chefs succeed in the US and beyond. These chefs have preserved their cultural cuisine through their artistry and gifted new flavors to food lovers worldwide.
Traditional Holiday Dishes From Around the World

  • Ukraine
    The Ukraine Orthodox Church celebrates Christmas on January 7. On Christmas Eve (January 6), families prepare Sviata Vecheria – a 12-course, pescetarian supper. The first and most important dish of the meal is kutia.
    The sweet starter is made from boiled wheat and poppy seeds with honey for flavor. A drink called uzvar, made from 12 types of stewed fruit, accompanies the dish. After the kutia, families enjoy borscht (beetroot soup), stuffed cabbage, dumplings, and various fish-based dishes.

  • Ethiopia
    Much like Ukraine, Christians in Ethiopia also celebrate Christmas on January 7. Before the holiday, people endure 40 days of fasting, with only one meat- and dairy-free meal allowed daily. On Christmas Day, families break their fast with a traditional dish of doro wat.
    The Christmas version of this fiery chicken stew is made with the meat of a rooster, unlike everyday doro wat, which requires a slaughtered hen. The family slices the meat into 12 pieces and serves it with 12 boiled eggs.

  • Philippines
    Catholics in the Philippines practice Simbang Gabi – nine days of prayer and spiritual devotion before Christmas. On each of the nine days, churchgoers attend dawn mass as early as 4:00 a.m. After mass, Filipinos enjoy bibingka for breakfast.
    Bibingka is a warm and sticky rice flour and coconut milk cake traditionally baked in clay pots. It’s often topped with cheese and eggs with whole coconut flakes to enhance the coconut flavor.

  • Israel
    During the Hanukkah season, bakeries in Israel offer decadent sufganiyot with dozens of tasty toppings. Like latkes, a more familiar Jewish fried dish, sufganiyot is prepared in hot oil, symbolizing the holiday miracle.
    In recent years, these sweet, jelly-filled doughnuts have become something of a spectacle, with bakers competing for the most elaborate design. From chocolate mousse and strawberries to candy and toasted marshmallows, sufganiyot in Israel is the definition of delicious.

Cultural Flavors in Modern Cooking
The beauty of heritage cooking is its ability to evolve. Often, new flavors creep into old traditions, and traditional flavors move into modern kitchens. Many processed and packaged foods today use heritage recipes as inspiration for their flavor profiles. Take sriracha-flavored potato chips, for example.
To create a cultural flavor fusion in pre-packed foods, manufacturers rely on extracts and essences that isolate individual flavors. These ingredients help brands offer their customers a consistent taste. Unlike whole ingredients, they are also easy to use in food processing because they do not alter the product’s texture.
Advanced Biotech stocks a wide range of natural flavor additives reminiscent of food from around the world. Explore our spicy, smokey, and sweet flavor and fragrance ranges, or contact us for more information.