So, it’s no secret that I love food, travel and learning about foodie culture around the world. Did you catch the series on Northern Indian Food earlier this year thanks to hours in the kitchen of my friend Srividya? I’ve also always been riveted by Jewish foods and their deep symbolism, and am on a mission to master latkes, but that’s for another day.
One of my favorite discoveries this year is a program called Little Passports, which I enthusiastically endorse (and serve as an affiliate) – you’ll see their ads on my blogs and website, because I think it’s fantastic! It’s a subscription program – your kids receive a kick-off package in the mail, and then new activities arrive every month. Earlier this year, my girls received their first package (a suitcase with passport and introduction to Sam and Sofia), and they can’t wait for the next box. The activities were appropriate for them both (ages 3 and 10), and they were entertained for hours along with several friends who came for play dates!
The team at Little Passports shared some great content about holiday feasts around the world that I thought was worth a share here. Plus, they’re running some great Black Friday offers (see end of post). It’s well worth the full price, but this is a great deal in time for the holidays!
Feasts Around the World with Little Passports
In the United States, the Thanksgiving holiday revolves around giving thanks and feasting on foods like turkey, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin pie, but it’s not the only holiday that requires an appetite. Take a trip with Little Passports and teach your kids about these food-filled holidays from around the world and see how other countries use food to celebrate.
Iran: Nowruz, the Persian New Year, takes place in March and is a celebration of the first day of spring. The foods eaten during Nowruz are specifically chosen to evoke spring and renewal and welcome the coming year. One of the more meaningful dishes is Ash-e reshteh, a noodle soup made with spinach and green herbs. Untangling the noodles as you eat is thought to bring good fortune in the coming year. Another traditional Nowruz dish, (sabzi pollo mahi), places fish alongside a bed of herb-coated rice. The fish represents “abundance” and the herby, green rice mirrors the greenness of nature in the spring. Other dishes served at Nowruz include lamb and rice-stuffed grape leaves (dolmeh barg) and a green herb-filled omelet (kookoo sabzi).
The United Kingdom: Though he lived over 200 years ago, Robert “Bobby” Burns is a Scottish poet so beloved in the United Kingdom that every year his birthday is celebrated as “Burns Night.” Around January 25th, people across the United Kingdom gather for “Burns suppers” to read Burns’ poetry aloud and feast on the Scottish dish haggis, which was one of Burns’ favorite foods. Haggis is chopped sheep heart, lungs, liver, oatmeal, onion, and spices stuffed and cooked in a sheep’s stomach! Burns thought haggis was so delicious, he wrote an entire poem about it called “Address to a Haggis.”
Sweden/Denmark/Finland: Quickly becoming the most celebrated holiday outside New Year and Christmas for Sweden, Midsummer’s Eve is the time when Scandinavians celebrate the longest day of the year. Midsummer’s Eve takes place during the summer solstice, which is around June 21st. On this holiday, traditional songs are sung, people dance around a decorated pole called the “midsommarstang,” and everyone feasts. One of the most popular Midsummer’s Eve foods is a kind of fish, called herring, that is pickled with mustard and onions and served with boiled new potatoes, sour cream, dill, and chopped boiled eggs. Swedish meatballs, sausage, grilled meats, strawberries and cheese pie are also traditional dishes to eat on Midsummer’s Eve.
Korea: The harvest festival Chuseok is the largest and most important holiday in Korea. This year, starting on September 18th, Chuseok celebrations take place over three days and involve visiting with extended family, giving thanks to ancestors, and dancing. Braised beef shortribs (Galbi jjim), a savory pancake (jeon), and a sweet potato noodle dish (japchae) are foods commonly seen during Chuseok, but because rice is one of the crops celebrated during the harvest festival, the rice cake songpyeon is the defining food of Chueseok. Songpyeon is made from kneaded rice flour and stuffed with chestnuts, red beans, or sesame seeds before being steamed over pine needles. Korean families gather to make songpyeon together and see who can make the prettiest shape.
Greece: On the Greek island of Cyprus, preparation for Lent takes place over two weeks of feasting. Because people abstain from meat during Lent, one whole week before Lent is dedicated to eating great amounts of meat and another to eating cheese. The week of meat is known as “Kreatini” and traditional Kreatini dishes are pork stew (afelia), marinated and grilled lamb skewers (souvlaki) and a dish of baked lamb, tomatoes, onions, and potatoes (tavva). During Tyrini, the week of cheese, people eat various kinds of sweet and savory cheese-filled pastries (bourekia), cheese cookies topped with herbs, bread filled with Halloumi cheese, and ravioli stuffed with local, fresh cheese.
This Holiday, Give Your Child the World with Little Passports
Every month, follow Little Passports characters Sam and Sofia as they embark on a new country adventure. Your first month’s Explorer Kit arrives in a suitcase and contains everything your child needs to get started learning about our big world: a letter from Sam and Sofia, a map, a passport, stickers, access to online games and more. Country specific packages filled with fun souvenirs, letters, stickers, photos and activity sheets arrive every month thereafter. Get started today, subscriptions start as low as $10.95! (and that’s without the discount!) Little Passports will take your family all over the world and teach your kids (and maybe you!) information to help them grow. Check out these deals!!
- November 29th – December 2nd: 50% off first month of monthly subscription with code: BLACK50
- On December 3rd: 40% off first month of monthly subscription with code: BLACK40
- On December 4th: 30% off first month of monthly subscription with code: BLACK30
Restrictions: Discount is valid on first month only. All discounts are off of the retail price excluding the shipping and Tax. Offer valid on new subscriptions only. Cannot be combined with other offers. Offer valid from 29th Nov – 2nd Dec.