There's something idyllic about a classic Christmas. Not just a snowy, white Christmas, though the weather certainly plays a part. But a classic Christmas is the time where families are together, gathered around a table, and eating a traditional feast unlike those you typically see today... except if you're spending the holidays in New England.
New England Christmas recipes are deepply rooted in traditions brought over by our country's earliest European settlers. You're not likely to find a great number of geese on holiday tables across the country, but you'll certainly see it in the Northeast. New England is also likely to see a white Christmas, so comforting, hearty soups (such as a sweet corn and clam chowder) and soul-warming cocktails (like hot buttered rum) are holiday must-haves.
If you want to play host to your own New England-inspired Christmas this year, don't forget the cheese straws, creamed onions, and cranberry pie. And while you're planning your menu, keep reading for 15 things New Englanders eat on Christmas.
Apple Pumpkin Soup
It gets cold up in New England, so the region's holiday fare is filled with warming bowls of comforting soups. This apple pumpkin soup is the perfect start to any meal, with a creamy, slightly sweet flavor that's perfect for winter.For the Apple Pumpkin Soup recipe, click here.
Crunchy Cheddar and Rosemary Cheese Straws
Cheddar and rosemary straws are a traditional New England appetizer, and they pair perfectly with the seasonal soups and salads on the holiday appetizer table.For the Crunchy Cheddar and Rosemary Cheese Straws recipe, click here.
Spinach Salad With Pears, Walnuts, and Goat Cheese
Crisp, seasonal pears team up wonderfully with walnuts, creamy goat cheese, and a mustard vinaigrette for this salad that'll make you feel good about your holiday eating habits.For the Spinach Salad With Pears, Walnuts, and Goat Cheese recipe, click here.
Sweet Corn and Clam Chowder
This soup is a staple in New England throughout the year, so there's no way it's missing from a holiday menu.For the Sweet Corn and Clam Chowder recipe, click here.
Beef Rib Roast
This dish is a classic centerpiece dish, perfect for Christmas Eve. The prep is easy and simple, and the flavors could not be more divine.For the Beef Rib Roast recipe, click here.
The Christmas goose plays a role in Dickens' A Christmas Carol for a reason; it's a true vintage holiday classic characteristic of "Merrie Olde England." Hosts in New England will still serve this dish from time to time, too, so consider preparing this bird for your centerpiece this year instead of the same old proteins.For the Christmas Goose recipe, click here.
Golden Cider-Roasted Turkey
A Christmas turkey is an iconic holiday meal. Cider (ideally from a local orchard) helps to give this roasted bird a bit of a New England flair.For the Golden Cider-Roasted Turkey recipe, click here.
Caramelized Onion Mashed Potatoes
Mashed potatoes are a classic holiday comfort food, and no New England feast would be complete without them. This dish jazzes up the standard side a bit with a delicious caramelized onion topping.For the Caramelized Onion Mashed Potatoes recipe, click here.
This is yet another classic New England side dish. The mild, sweet flavors of these creamed onions will go with whatever main course you choose.For the Creamed Onions recipe, click here.
Maple Roasted Carrots
Maple roasted carrots are an easy, colorful addition to a holiday plate. All you need are eight staple ingredients, and your plate will be a palate of stunning shades and flavors.For the Maple Roasted Carrots recipe, click here.
Parker House Rolls
You didn't think you could have a New England feast without Parker House rolls, did you? Come on. They're an absolute must-have.For the Parker House Rolls recipe, click here.
New England's colonial roots lead to plenty of English influence in their holiday celebrations, including in this classic Christmas pudding recipe. Be sure not to skimp on the fruit!For the Christmas Pudding recipe, click here.
Cranberries are a must-have for any classic Christmas dinner. Forget that ol' relish no one likes to eat anyway and use cranberries for this perfectly tart dessert instead.For the Cranberry Pie recipe, click here.
Ginger Molasses Cookies
The warming, homey flavors of molasses and holiday ginger spice make this traditional Christmas cookie a must-have for any New England-inspired feast.For the Ginger Molasses Cookies recipe, click here.
Hot Buttered Rum
This classic cocktail is the perfect thing to warm up to on any long New England winter night, including Christmas. And what pairs better with hot rum than some easy and delicious Christmas breakfast recipes?For the Hot Buttered Rum recipe, click here.More From The Daily Meal:
Christmas Eve Dinner Recipes Straight From My Grandma's Cookbook
21 Slow Cooker Recipes for Christmas
30 Best Holiday Cookies From Around the World
The Most Popular Holiday Recipe in Every State, According to Google