Jackson 5: A world tour of Christmas dishes

By Aaron Jackson,

Here at the Jackson 5 planning committee we’re all about embracing the unusual, and that means putting ourselves out on a limb from time to time, which is definitely the case this week. Have you found your Christmas dinner to be lacking in ingenuity or flavor? I have found some of the most unique traditions from around the world that you could bring to the table this year to really throw a curveball at the holidays.


  1. Mopane: What is this you ask? It’s a traditional Christmas dish widely eaten in South Africa. Not many ingredients in this one, so your organic family members will love it! It’s simply fried Emperor Moth caterpillars. If you’ve ever wanted to feast like Timon and Pumba here’s your chance.

  2. Tesco Turkey Doughnuts: For those of you that eat a Christmas brunch but prefer the flavor of dinner this could be your go to. It’s a doughnut flavored with Turkey and Stuffing. Turkey not your style? Then step on up to the Smoky Bacon doughnuts. Both are sold in the UK.

  3. Mattak and Kiviak: This tradition in Greenland stems from the Inuits, and is not popular really anywhere else. That’s probably because the dish is whale blubber with the skin attached. But wait, there’s more! The blubber is topped with fermented auks, which is a small penguin like bird. Those auks are fermented in the body of a seal for 7 months. YUM!

  4. Smalahove: If raw blubber and fermented bird isn’t your thing than maybe this is. It’s a roasted lamb’s head. Norway is where it’s famous, and they quite literally just throw a lamb head in the oven and roast it. First, it’s salted and dried, then smoked. They even leave the brains in it to eat with a spoon. Believe it or not this meal is sought out by tourists.

  5. Grandma’s Fruitcake: Does anyone even know what this thing is made out of? It weighs more than a ton of bricks, has little to no odor, and I’m pretty sure she just brings the same one to Christmas each year. No one ever eats these things right? They just sit there, staring at you. And you know she didn’t actually make it. Gram got it as a Christmas present one year and she’s so mad about it she’s been bringing it ever since. Give me the Turkey Doughnuts!

Aaron Jackson (@AaronRJackson on Twitter) is a co-host on The Drive, weekdays 4pm to 6pm on 92.9fm The Ticket and streaming live at DriveShowMaine.com. Follow us on Twitter, @DriveShowMaine and “Like Us” on Facebook, Drive Show Maine.