By Hadas Kuznits
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Christmas may be this weekend, but not everyone celebrates the holidays with the same food. In this week’s holiday edition of What’s Cooking on 1060, KYW’s Hadas Kuznits highlights special foods eaten during this season.
Philadelphia restaurateur Jill Weber is also an archeologist. She says one of the more unusual traditions is Night of the Radishes in Oaxaca, Mexico, which began in the early 19th century when the Spanish introduced radishes to this region.
“Somebody had the brilliant idea of getting customers to the Christmas Market by getting radish sculpting. So every year now, on December 23rd, there is a huge festival where they do oversized radish sculpting.”
In the American South, a traditional New Year’s day meal is about prosperity.
“So the black-eyed peas can be thought of as coins, the collard greens can be thought of as paper money and the corn bread can be thought of as gold. And in a sense, instead of toasting for your health, you’re eating for your wealth.”
And in Japan, people flock to Kentucky Fried Chicken on Christmas Day.
“Mind you, 1% of Japanese celebrate Christmas.”
Weber says this tradition started as a KFC marketing ploy in the 1970’s.
“And they had the saying, ‘Kentucky for Christmas’ and then they offered $8 for a chicken meal and wine and cake.”
Today, she says it’s not uncommon to see lines around the block at this fast food chain in Japan on Christmas Day.
Hear the full podcast (runs 19:01)…
And for this week, that’s “What’s Cooking on 1060!”