Cultures from around the world bring out signature desserts and dishes to celebrate the holiday season. If you’re looking for a taste of holiday treats from places like Peru, India and Japan, here’s a list of five traditional dishes and where you can find them in the DMV.
Latkes are a traditional fried potato cake served during Hanukkah. This crisp hash-brown-like cake is symbolic in its preparation. The oil used to cook the dish represents the miracle that founded the Jewish holiday when one day of oil burned and lit a menorah for eight days. Latkes are traditionally served with sour cream or applesauce.
Stop by Call Your Mother Deli at 3301 Georgia Ave NW to try three gluten-free cakes ($7.50), served with seasonal jam and sour cream.
Spiced hot chocolate from Peru
Spiced hot chocolate is a traditional Christmas beverage served in Peru. Churches throughout the country prepare large batches of the drink and serve it alongside donations of panettone, an Italian bread.
If you’re looking for something spicy to sip while studying, stop by Oyamel Cocina Mexicana at 401 7th St. NW to try its take on “Chocolate Caliente” ($4).
Kheer from India
Kheer, a sweet rice pudding, is served warm during Indian holiday festivities like Diwali. The dish is prepared by boiling rice and vermicelli with milk and sugar which is then topped with cardamom, raisins and nuts. This hearty dessert is a sweet way to warm up.
Interested in trying kheer? Rasika at 1190 New Hampshire Ave. NW serves the dish family-style for $10.
Kentucky Fried Chicken and strawberry shortcake from Japan
Yup, believed to have begun in the 1970s alongside the American franchise’s international debut, “Christmas Chicken” is a Japanese tradition. People in Japan order KFC weeks in advance and pick up the holiday feast along with a decorative Japanese strawberry shortcake.
The closest KFC to GW’s Foggy campus is located at 1944 Bladensburg Road NE. If you’re looking to celebrate the holidays with friends and a barrel of fried chicken, Baked & Wired also serves strawberry shortcake cupcakes for $4.10 each, and Shortcake Bakery at 4700 Rhode Island Ave., Hyattsville, Md. serves the dessert by the slice.
Mincemeat pies from New Zealand
Mincemeat pies are a traditional New Zealander dish enjoyed throughout the year, but it’s especially popular during the holiday season in New Zealand. A flaky puff pastry is filled with meat like lamb or chicken and stewed veggies.
If you’re interested in trying mincemeat pies, stop by Kiwi Kuisine at 4550 Eisenhower Ave., Alexandria, Va., where you can enjoy a personal meat or vegetarian pie at lunch or dinner for $6.50.