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From A-U (because we don’t have Zambia or Zimbabwe) we have 15 different methods of celebrating a wedding. Explore the various selected countries and see which food tradition makes the biggest impression on you!
In Armenia they serve a traditional pumpkin dish (ghapama) at weddings and New Year, which symbolises “a sweet life”; the pumpkin is cut down the sides, to open up like the petals of a flower, and it’s known for its fragrant honeyed steam which makes everyone excited! The dish is cooked in a tandoor – it’s lowered in a wire basket onto the coals where the pumpkin suspends once the vegetables and meat have cooked.
In Brazil they have a wedding treat called Casadinhos, meaning “married.” Rolled in sugar and individually wrapped, these cookies are filled with marmalade, jam, honey or cream.
3. Denmark & 4. Norway
To celebrate a wedding in Denmark and Norway they serve a kransekake, a cone-shaped cake made of almonds, sugar and egg whites. Basically, made of macaron mix. The structure is actually assembled from many flat rings stacked, held together with icing and traditionally decorated with miniature flags.
The Croquembouche is one of the most spectacular creations to have come out of the world of French sweets. This is a towering dessert sculpture of crème filled profiteroles carefully constructed with toffee to seal it all together. It was once believed that if the bride and groom could kiss over the tower, they would have a lifetime of prosperity.
6. Greece & 7. Italy
In Greece and Italy, to celebrate, they use ‘Sweet Confetti’ in the form of brightly-coloured sugared almonds with a crisp-sugar shell said to sweeten the newlywed’s life together. In Italy, they are called Bomboniere and are used for table decoration and place settings. In Greece, they’re called Koufetta and are usually placed in little bags in odd numbers to symbolise how the happy couple will remain undivided. Either way, they’ve got a crunch and are a popular wedding confection.
Indonesians celebrate with sweetened loaves of bread in the shape of crocodiles – they are usually served at Betawi wedding and pre-wedding ceremonies. The reptile is said to represent loyalty and long life. After the wedding, the bread is unwrapped, and together, the family eats the bread.
9. Islands of Bermuda
On a couple’s wedding day, the couple will plant their cake – so to speak. After the ceremony, a cedar-sapling is placed on top of their wedding cake and when the couple moves into their home together they plant this sapling. This is said to symbolise their union and the growth of their relationship.
One of the most popular Japanese wedding traditions is the ‘sake ceremony’ known as san-san-kudo. The bride and groom take turns sipping sake from several cups – it’s said to seal the marriage and their commitment to each other.
In korean, Yaksik means “medicinal food.” This sweet dish’s name comes from the word ‘honey’ which was once called “yak” or “medicine,” as honey is an essential ingredient for this dessert. It is traditionally eaten at weddings and is made of sticky rice that is speckled with dates, raisins and nuts. This also links with a wedding tradition where guests throw dates and chestnuts at the bride who then tries to catch them in her dress.
Wedding stew or “asado de bodas” is a simple stew similar to a Mexican mole (a dish with chilli peppers.) Dark chocolate is added towards the end of the cooking process to add a rich flavour, dark colour and silky sheen to the sauce. It is quite popular in parts of north and central Mexico, and particularly in the city of Zacatecas, where it is seen as a symbol of celebration and achievement, and commonly served at weddings, often with red rice.
Xi Bing are Chinese traditional pastries which come in all shapes, colours and sizes and are usually stuffed with red bean, lotus seed and nuts. They are often gifted by the groom’s family to the bride’s family as a symbol of gratitude. The bride’s family then sends these cakes to wedding guests along with wedding invitations. Xi Bing – meaning “double happiness”, this cake is a sign of good fortune. Made of flour, eggs and sugar, the fillings can be slightly unexpected with pork, mushrooms, nuts and bean pastes – traditionally with an imprint reading “double happiness”.
In the south-east region of Turkey, they celebrate with Perde Pilavi (a delicate pilaf parcel stuffed with spiced chicken, nuts, herbs, spices and perfumed rice, which takes time, care and age-old cooking techniques.) It’s typically eaten at weddings and symbolises the building of a new home together.
Somewhere between a bread and a cake, ‘Korovai’ is the Ukrainian version of a wedding centrepiece. Made of unleavened dough, marshmallow, or whipped egg whites, this piece is decorated with dough shapes. The making of the Korovai is an important tradition in itself and usually starts on the Friday or Saturday before the wedding day.