Around the World in Traditional Wedding Food

If there’s one thing that all cultures have in common, it’s wanting to celebrate a loving union with a huge occasion. Whatever your values, religion or geographical location, weddings are a chance to gather together and congratulate a happy couple on the start of their life, more often than not accompanied by music, dancing and of course, an incredible spread of food. There’s no better way to explore different cultural traditions than through the foods, flavours and edible favours of a big, fat, tasty wedding. Here are some of the most iconic traditional wedding foods from countries around the globe!

Traditional Wedding Food from around the World

Europe

Jordan Almonds – Italy

Representing both the bitter and sweet aspects of a couple’s married life, guests at a traditional Italian wedding will shower the bride and groom with brightly coloured, sugar coated ‘Jordan Almonds’.

Traditional Wedding Food from around the World: Jordan Almonds Wedding Gift
Jordan Almonds Wedding Gift: Photo on Flickr by lida / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Korovai – Ukraine

Humble bread with a twist, Ukrainian Korovai is a traditional wedding loaf decorated with dough shapes and foliage – a true nuptial centrepiece.

Traditional Wedding Food from around the World: Ukrainian Korovai
Ukrainian Korovai

Croquembouche – France 

In place of a more traditional wedding cake, the French favour the majestic tower of profiteroles and spun caramel known as a Croquembouche.

Traditional Wedding Food from around the World: Croquembouche
Croquembouche: Photo on Flickr by AussieGold / CC BY-NC 2.0

Asia

Thong Yod- Thailand

Fragrant and sweet, these balls of rice flour, sugar and jasmine are present at every traditional Thai wedding, intended to represent the good fortune of the happy couple.

Banh Xu Xe – Vietnam

A Vietnamese wedding is not complete without the intricately decorated sweets, referred to as Banh Xu Xe, which roughly translates as ‘conjugal cake’.

Traditional Wedding Food from around the World: Banh Xu Xe
Banh Xu Xe

Kagami Biraki – Japan 

A tradition of most celebratory ceremonies in Japan, the smashing of a barrel of sake known as Kagami Biraki is a feature of any traditional Japanese wedding.

Traditional Wedding Food from around the World: Sake Barrel Japan
Sake Barrel: Photo on Flickr by Joi Ito / CC BY 2.0

Africa

Kola Nuts – Nigeria 

Symbolising the bride and groom’s ability to heal their differences, Kola nuts can be found everywhere at a Nigerian wedding, and are also still used as part of the bride’s dowry!

Traditional Wedding Food from around the World: Kola Nuts Nigeria
Kola Nuts: Photo on Flickr by Malcolm Manners / CC BY 2.0

Dates and Milk – Morocco

The relationship between bride and mother-in-law gets off to a good start in Morocco, with a post-wedding ceremony in which the new wife is welcomed into her marital home by the groom’s mother with dates and milk.

Traditional Wedding Food from around the World: Dates and Milk
Dates and Milk

Ugali na Nyama Choma – Kenya

We all love a good barbecue, but the art of outdoor cooking is taken to a whole new level at a traditional Kenyan wedding, with fire-roasted meat for all guests to enjoy.

Traditional Wedding Food from around the World: Ugali and Nyama Choma
Ugali and Nyama Choma: Photo on Flickr by Henry Bergius / CC BY-SA 2.0

North America

Groom’s Cake – USA

At weddings in some parts of the USA, the groom really gets a moment in the spotlight with his very own cake, decorated with all his favourite hobbies and interests.

Traditional Wedding Food from around the World: Groom's Chocolate Cake
Groom’s Chocolate Cake: Photo on Flickr by Fuzzy Gerdes / CC BY 2.0

Wedding Cookies – Mexico

As white and fluffy as the bridal gown itself, these mini cookie balls are rolled in icing sugar and traditionally handed out as favours.

Traditional Wedding Food from around the World: Mexican Wedding Cookies
Mexican Wedding Cookies

Cedar Sapling Cake – Bermuda 

In Bermuda, it is traditional for the wedding cake to be topped with the sapling of a cedar tree, which is then planted in the garden of the new couple.

South America

Casadinho – Brazil 

Mini biscuits joined with honey and jam, this sweet treat symbolises the joining together of the bride and groom and translates as ‘happily married’.

Traditional Wedding Food from around the World: Casadinho
Casadinho

Breakfast Churros – Argentina 

Weddings in Argentina are more of an overnight affair, with the ceremonies taking place in late evening, followed by dancing ’til dawn – churros are provided for guests as a breakfast treat!

Traditional Wedding Food from around the World: Churros at breakfast Argentina
Churros at breakfast: Photo on Flickr by Constanza / CC BY-NC 2.0

Oceania

Kava – Fiji

The passing around of Kava (a hair-raising spirit), represents unity in marriage at any traditional Fijian wedding ceremony.

Traditional Wedding Food from around the World: Kava Bowl Fiji
Kava Bowl in Fiji: Photo on Flickr by Arnie Papp / CC BY 2.0

Fish and Chips – Australia 

Among other, more expected foods at an Australian wedding, you’ll find a dish traditionally associated with the UK – fish and chips!

Traditional Wedding Food from around the World: Fish and Chips
Fish and Chips

Find the full list and infographic here.

About Emily Frost

A dynamic and innovative creative marketing and SEO agency, working within the travel and food sectors!

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