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Winter Cuisines, Heartwarming and Comfy Cooking

Let me tell you about my favorite type of food. Winter food. As soon as it’s chilly outside, we all seem to bring out our best recipes. All those heartwarming meals that keep us warm and comfy are what make the cold season tolerable, even in the coldest years.

And although we all have our classic winter meals, there’s lots we can learn from winter cuisines around the world. For inspiration or just for fun, here’s what people enjoy when keeping themselves warm while they spend the holidays with their families. Do you enjoy one of these dishes at home?

1. Winter Cuisines of Europe

European cuisines are incredibly varied, but the continent does share harsh winters. Here’s where winter warmers and comfort food come in.

In Switzerland, fondue is the order of the day; the melted, dipping cheese is a classic, especially when served with artisan bread. Hungary and many other East European countries go for the spicy goulash instead, a paprika-scented broth with chunky meat and potato dumplings, can you smell it already?

For the French, winter means onion soup — the cheesy, beefy broth is not only comforting but addictively warming. Then you have the Italian tortellini in a broth and the ravioli. These starchier types of pasta, filled with meat or cheese, are definitely more calorie-rich than lighter summer meals like pesto.

2. Winter Cuisines of Latin America

In Latin America, just like in every other corner of the earth, winter means going back to the most traditional foods, and that often means hearty broths and enormous meals to share.

Mexican people cherish their Pozole or hominy and chicken soup — it goes back to the Aztecs, and it’s definitely a winter warmer. People in Brazil bring out a large pot or Feijoada or bean soup, and the Argentines, who love outdoor grilling, go for a spicy Locro stew, made with hearty meat, potatoes, squash and corn all in a rich and flavorful broth.

3. Winter Cuisines of Asia

Asian countries have their winter specialties as well. Travel to Vietnam for a lovely noodle soup or pho — the secret is in the rich broth. And Tibet, known for its mean winters, stay warm with a glass of butter tea, a whole lot of yak butter mixed with black tea!

You might not know this, but the most popular holiday meal in Japan is KFC; in fact, the greasy fried chicken is people’s favorite Christmas dinner! Some of us can relate, though. Of course, a flavorful Tonkotsu ramen made with pork bone broth is as hearty as broths get, and it’s also a winter classic.

4. Winter Cuisines of North America

Then we have North America. From a shepherd’s pie to a sourdough cinnamon roll, food in winter is as varied as anywhere else in the world.

Of course, this is time for cheesy casseroles, roasted birds, rich carrot soups and creamy pasta, and although some winter classics are not as popular, like Brussels sprouts, others are crowd-pleasing delicious. Did someone say turkey with cranberry sauce?

That’s the beauty of winter foods, they’re incredibly varied, and everyone seems to have their favorites. So, what are your favorite winter foods?

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