Taste of Halloween

When it’s trick-or-treat time, find out what makes these sweets perennial favorites.

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Sufganiyot (Israel)

Sufganiyot (Israel)

It’s not uncommon for Jewish people to eat fried food for Hanukkah to celebrate the miracle of oil, which refers to the oil in a lamp in an ancient temple lasting 8 days when there was only enough in the lamp for 1 day. Potato pancakes (latkes) are usually a common staple at the beginning of dinner, but sufganiyots (pictured) – jelly- or custard-filled doughnuts – are the most popular food eaten in Israel during this religious holiday. 960 1280

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Mince Pies (England)

Mince Pies (England)

Christmas dinner in the UK is similar to a typical Thanksgiving meal in US, which is usually comprised of roast turkey or duck with cranberry sauce, served with potatoes and vegetables. In addition to Christmas pudding, mince pie (pictured) is another popular food in the UK. This holiday treat is filled with minced meat, raw beef or mutton fat, fruits and spices. 960 1280

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Panettone (Italy)

Panettone (Italy)

In Southern Italians and Italian Americans celebrate the holidays by eating fish and other seafood for the Feast of the Seven Fishes. However, panettone, is a popular sweet bread loaf that contains raisins, citron, lemon peel shavings and candied orange. It is usually served with a hot drink, sweet wine or crema di mascarpone during Christmas and New Year’s Day. 960 1280

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Tamales (Mexico)

Tamales (Mexico)

With Aztec and Maya origins as early as 8000 to 5000 BC, tamales are a popular food eaten in Mexico during the holidays – sometimes replacing traditional turkey or bacalao. This delicious holiday treat – filled with meats, cheeses, fruits, vegetables and chilies – is usually wrapped in corn husks or plantain leaves and steamed to perfection. 960 1280

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Bûche de Noël (France)

Bûche de Noël (France)

Looking for something sweet in France? Don’t miss out on tasting the bûche de noël! This traditional dessert is a frosted sponge cake filled with chocolate buttercream or other flavored fillings. The cake resembles a yule log. In the medieval era, families would gather and throw a yule log on a fire at the end of December to welcome the Winter Solstice. The ashes were saved for good luck.  960 1280

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Melomakarona (Greece)

Melomakarona (Greece)

Pork, egg-lemon chicken and rice soup, christopsomo, baklava and yaprakia are few traditional Greek food and dishes eaten during the holidays. Top it all off with melomakarona cookies made with cinnamon, cloves and orange. After they come out of the oven, the baked goods are dipped in spiced syrup and sprinkled with nuts. 960 1280

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Babka (Poland)

Babka (Poland)

The first star seen starts the big Christmas Eve feast in Poland. Twelve dishes, usually a variety of fish and vegetables, are served as a reminder of the 12 Apostles. Beetroot soup, carp, pickled herring, potato dumplings and cabbage rolls are a few dishes served. Don’t eat too much and save space in your stomach for some delicious babka or cake. 960 1280

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Kentucky Fried Chicken (Japan)

Kentucky Fried Chicken (Japan)

It’s not uncommon to see a crowd at the local KFC during the holidays in Japan. Why? Because it’s usually the popular food choice for Christmas dinner since turkey is nonexistent in the country. Japanese patrons have been known to place their KFC order 2 months in advance. So plan ahead and place your order early if plan on celebrating a Christmas like the locals. 960 1280

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Saffron Buns (Sweden)

Saffron Buns (Sweden)

Swedish meatballs, Christmas ham, sweet and sour red cabbage, mulled wine, sliced beet root and an assortment of other goodies are traditional holiday food in Sweden. Don’t forget to add a basket of saffron buns – spiced sweet buns flavored with saffron, cinnamon or nutmeg. 960 1280

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Kutia (Ukraine)

Kutia (Ukraine)

Start your 12-dish meal on Christmas Eve in the Ukraine with kutia, a sweet grain pudding made with wheat berries, poppy seeds, raisins, honey or sugar and milk or cream. 960 1280

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Christstollen (Germany)

Christstollen (Germany)

Taste christstollen, the German version of fruit cake eaten during the Christmas season. The traditional German cake is filled several ingredients such as almonds, cinnamon, dried fruit and marzipan. 960 1280

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Spiced Hot Chocolate (Peru)

Spiced Hot Chocolate (Peru)

Add chili to sweet hot chocolate and you’ve just made a traditional holiday drink in Peru. Spiced hot chocolate, served with panettone (traditional Italian bread), is usually given to the poor or less fortunate leading up to Christmas. Similar to Mexico, Peruvians holiday staples include tamales and roast turkey. 960 1280

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Stroopwafels (Holland)

Stroopwafels (Holland)

These deliciously thin treats are a traditional dessert in Holland. Stroopwafels’ or syrup waffles’ main ingredients are butter, brown sugar, syrup and cinnamon. Try ginger nuts, Dutch Christmas bread and bishop’s wine if you’re looking for other traditional food and drink to sample in Holland or the Netherlands during the holidays. 960 1280

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Kimchi (South Korea)

Kimchi (South Korea)

Don’t stay in … take your significant other out for a romantic dinner at a restaurant if you’re in South Korea. It’s normal for families to go out for Christmas dinner and attend holiday-themed events at local venues and theme parks. Kimchi is a year-round staple for families dining in for the holiday. After all, it is Korea’s national dish. 960 1280

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Egg Nog (US)

Egg Nog (US)

Turkey, apple cider, candy canes, Christmas cookies, gingerbread, fruitcake are typical traditional foods served during the holidays in the US. But eggnog – made with milk, cream, sugar and whipped eggs – is a popular holiday treat, too. Add brandy, rum or bourbon to warm cold spirits and garnish with cinnamon or nutmeg for a decorative touch. 960 1280

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Má Pêche
Má Pêche

Má Pêche

Celebrate New Year’s Eve in the heart of Midtown at this modern American restaurant. Má Pêche is offering a special New Year’s Eve 4-course prix fixe chicken and rice dinner that includes a champagne toast at midnight. 960 1280

  

Commerce

Commerce

Wax nostalgic for a bygone Manhattan era at Commerce's historic Greenwich Village space. Amid the restaurant’s Art Deco murals, classic cocktails and cozy booths, you can reminisce about Old New York while you toast to the New Year. 960 1280

© Mira Zaki  

Aroma Kitchen & Winebar

Aroma Kitchen & Winebar

This East Village Italian restaurant and wine bar focuses on regional Italian dishes and seasonal specialties. Chef Vito and his team are hosting an intimate celebration, featuring a 5-course menu that includes risotto lobster Bolognese and pan-seared Crescent Farms duck breast with wine pairings.  960 1280

Winnie Jeng  

Soccarat

Soccarat

Transport yourself to Spain on New Year’s Eve. Gather your friends and prepare to share tapas and paella at this charming space in Midtown. Grapes will be provided for the "12 grapes of luck" tradition of eating a grape with each bell strike at midnight. 960 1280

Kirsten Thoen  

Affaire

Affaire

Ring in the New Year Parisian-style without leaving the East Village! This cozy French bistro's New Year’s Eve party includes 3 rooms of music by in-house and guest DJs, a 5-hour open bar, hors d'oeuvres and a champagne toast at midnight. Dress code is semi-formal or burlesque … if you really want to get into the mood. 960 1280

  

Centro

Centro

Have a “Buon Anno Nuovo!” at this Italian hot spot in the West Village. Go all out with a 5-course menu or choose the 4-course menu -- antipasti, primi, secondi and dolci. Indulge one last time before New Year's resolutions kick in with the decadent homemade dolci. 960 1280

  

TOY Restaurant

TOY Restaurant

For a memorable New Year’s Eve, head to this Gansevoort Hotel hot spot for dinner and a show. Laser lighting, aerialist performances and cutting-edge DJs make this “multi-sensory, stimulating fantasy playground” the setting for an extraordinary night.   960 1280

  

Bistro Chat Noir

Bistro Chat Noir

This is every Francophile’s dream spot for ringing in the New Year. This slice of Paris on the Upper East Side is hosting a masquerade ball on New Year’s Eve, with 3 seatings. The first is kid-friendly, the second has a Broadway pop show, and the third has the Broadway pop show and a midnight toast. And if you can’t get enough, come back for the bistro’s New Year’s Day brunch.  960 1280

Kirsten Kay Thoen  

Jungsik

Jungsik

Treat yourself to modern Korean cuisine this New Year's Eve. TriBeCa's Jungsik is offering 2 New Year’s Eve seatings: a 4-course prix fixe spread and a 10-course option. Splurge with a wine pairing add-on for the special night. 960 1280

Kirsten Thoen  

Ditch Plains

Ditch Plains

Food Network star and chef Marc Murphy's New York-style fish shack is a lively spot to ring in the New Year. With its informal vibe and casual chic dress code, Ditch Plains is a fuss-free option for the big night. 960 1280

Kirsten Kay Thoen  

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