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It's in the nature of traditions to be easily taken for granted, so much so that it can sometimes come as a real surprise to think that in other parts of the world things might be done completely differently! Christmas is a case in point, and of course for most Latin Americans it's a summer event for a start, turning our northern-hemisphere expectations quite literally on their head.

As you might expect, there's a large Latin contingent in our office, so we decided to canvas Margot on the traditional meals that are eaten at Christmas in her native.

We asked Margot, what do Peruvians traditionally eat for dinner on Christmas Day – which turned out to be the wrong question altogether, since, as she tells, us, "Latin Americans celebrate Christmas on the 24th, which is known as Nochebuena. Usually the celebrations start at midnight, when the feast is served and presents opened, then as the night goes on family and friends pop in to carry on the festivities, drinking and dancing until morning. It is so much fun!"

Peruvian Christmas dinner, which is accompanied by hot chocolate and followed by panettone, traditionally includes roast turkey or pork and Ensalada Rusa (Russian salad):

  • Prep: 15 minutes
  • Cook: 20 minutes
  • Total time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
  • Recipe serves: 8 (as a side)

Ingredients

  • 1/2kg Potatoes, peeled
  • 2 Large carrots
  • 5 Beetroots, peeled
  • 1/2 Cup of peas
  • 1/2 Cup of mayonnaise
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Boil the potato, carrot and beetroot (separately), then dice into cubes.
  2. Mix the cubes together in a salad along with the peas, seasoning and lemon juice, then carefully mix the mayonnaise, taking care not to mash the ingredients.
  3. Serve cold.

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