4 Greek Christmas Food Traditions

With the Christmas season nearly upon us, it’s time to start thinking about all those Christmas traditions that we hold dear, and which make this time of year special. Many of these traditions centre around the kinds of food that are eaten in the lead up to Christmas, and this is certainly no exception in Greek culture.  Here at It’s Greek, we love to celebrate exceptional Greek food every day by serving the best Greek takeaway, and that’s why we’re sharing this list of traditional Greek Christmas treats.

You’ll find these delicacies on Christmas tables on the big day, and in kitchens and pantries across the Christmas season in Greek households around the world, as well as in Greece itself. Keep reading to find out all about the delicious treats and foods that typically feature at a Greek Christmas celebration.

Melomakarona

These delicious cookies herald the beginning of the Christmas season not only in Greece but in Greek homes around the world, including in Australia. Melomakarona are sweet biscuits or cookies, flavoured with honey, as well as those traditional Christmas-time spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.

These decadent cookies are made of a relatively simple recipe of flour, sugar, olive oil and orange juice, and after baking, they are covered in delicious honey, making them delightfully syrupy and sweet. Finished off with a sprinkle of chopped walnuts, melomakarona will be instantly recognisable as a Christmas time treat to anybody with a connection to Greek culture.

Recipes for melomakarona often produce dozens of cookies at a time, making them the perfect treat for those unexpected visitors during the Christmas season, or an ideal delicacy for gifting!

Greek biscuits baked and served at Christmas time

Kourabiedes

Another delicious biscuit, Kourabiedes are also a staple in Greek houses over the Christmas season. In Greece in particular, their arrival in bakeries across the country also signals the nearing of Christmas, just like melomakarona. These cookies are delightfully buttery and baking them can fill your home with the wafting aroma of toasted almonds and rose water.

Topped off with a dusting of layers of sweet, powdery icing sugar, and kourabiedes make the perfect Christmas treat! They are the ultimate melt-in-your-mouth cookie and are often served alongside melomakarona at gatherings across the Christmas season. Plus, like melomakarona, kourabiedes will often be features on a platter designed for gifting to friends, family and loved ones at Christmas time.

Pork

While some households favour turkey as the centrepiece of the Christmas dinner table in countries like America, and even sometimes in Australia, in Greece, it is far more common for this to be pork. It is true that pork has traditionally been highly regarded in Greece when it comes to Christmas, and so it’s no surprise that pork-centred dishes vary from region to region in these celebrations.

These variations can include roast pork, stuffed pork made from pork belly, melt in your mouth slow cooked pork, or a traditional pork stew, served with celery and herbs – often on Christmas eve. Regardless of its preparation, on the traditional Greek Christmas table, pork replaces turkey, ham, or shrimp as the main culinary attraction!

greek food-souvlaki pita bread tzatziki sauce

Christopsomo (Christ’s Bread)

Chistopsomo, also known as Christ’s Bread, is a treasured and sacred tradition in many Orthodox households. It is a dish that carries with it much symbolism, and a tradition that has many variations from family to family. The christopsomo is generally baked on Christmas Eve, or else the day before Christmas Eve, and is served on Christmas day. This special bread is baked as an offering to Christ, in the hopes for blessings for the new year.

Christopsomo is topped with a letter X – a decorative touch that actually refers to the first letter in the word Christ when written in Greek. With many variations of Christ’s Bread, some including dried fruit and others mixing in spices and herbs, it’s possible that this dish will be different from one house to another. Whichever way the christopsomo is prepared, the significance and symbolism of this very special bread remains, and you will be sure to find one at many tables during Christmas.

Check out our guide to Greek food delicacies if you’re interested in finding out more about delicious traditional Greek dishes, or read this Wikipedia page all about Greek cuisine to discover some unique facts.  

Are You in the Mood for Greek Takeaway?

If this article has given you an appetite for incredible Greek food, then look no further than It’s Greek! We serve the best Greek food takeaway, backed by a passion for quality cuisine, and the joy of bringing a taste of Greece to Melbourne. If it’s authentic and delectable Greek food you’re after, then we have the answer here at It’s Greek. Plus, if it’s the best souvlaki in Melbourne that’s on your mind – you guessed it – we’ve got that too!

For an authentic Greek feed, place your order online, or alternatively, call us at 03 9548 5607, and we will happily take care of your order!