World's top 12 worst holiday foods
Just when you thought Grandma's Christmas sugar cookies and hot buttered rum were the worst waistline wreckers out there, these 12 holiday foods from around the world may, er, take the cake. What are the worst cookies for you? Full of butter, sugar, and notoriously fatty ingredients, the only thing these international foods are giving this holiday season is the gift of girth. See what deep-fried, gravy-layered dish takes first prize for the worst holiday food in the world.
1. Germany: Schaufele
It's no secret that Germans love their meat, and Schaufele, a southern German dish, does this country proud. This fatty, often cured, pork shoulder dish is made at least two different ways: In Franconia, it's seasoned with salt, pepper, and spices, put in a casserole dish, and covered with root vegetables, onions, and beer. Afterward, it's smothered with gravy and served with potato dumplings and cabbage. In Baden, it's simmered in a bath of wine, water, vinegar, onions, and herbs for hours, then served with potato salad. Six ounces of roasted pork shoulder contain more than 450 calories and 14 grams of saturated fat, so this dish starts off with a high artery-clogging factor, but then add gravy and potato dumplings (a mere 300 calories per serving), and you're looking at a Christmas calorie bomb.
2. Greece: Loukoumades
Though the Greeks are known for their heart-healthy Mediterranean diet, they seem to make an exception for the holidays. Loukoumades are pastries made of fried dough, soaked in sugary syrup or honey, then covered with cinnamon, and sometimes powdered sugar. According to authentic recipes, just one of these Greek doughnuts will cost you between 200 to 300 calories and more than 30 grams of sugar
3. Finland: Karjalanpaisti, or Karelian Hot Pot
This meaty dish combines beef, pork, and sometimes lamb, plus salt, water, onions, and bay leaves. The result is a hearty meat dish that will set you back about 450 calories per serving, not to mention hefty doses of saturated fat from the not-so-lean stew meat! Often served with potatoes, this dish could easily put a dent in your calorie intake for the day. Be sure to save room for reindeer, another popular Finnish dish!
4. Cuba: Crema de Vie
Forget buttered rum! Cubans have their own form of eggnog, made with condensed milk, rum, sugar, cinnamon or vanilla, lemon rind, and egg yolk. This frothy drink is like Christmas in a cup, but it will also cost you in calories. Some of the richest versions contain up to 500 calories per glass, plus two cups of sugar per recipe!
5. China: Peking Duck
Even though it's not a public holiday, some regions in China celebrate Christmas-like traditions. One of the unhealthiest: Eating Peking duck. A Beijing specialty, Peking duck is a rich roasted duck dish that is covered in a tangy mixture of honey, ginger, and sometimes Hoisin sauce. Just six ounces of duck alone contains 354 calories and almost 10 grams of saturated fat! Add in the sodium-filled sauce and the common side dish of Mandarin pancakes, and you have a meal that won't go swimmingly with your diet.
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