By Roberta Vitiello

    Although Christmas in Australia shares many British traditions, the warmer weather makes the festive season down under a unique experience, and when it comes to Christmas cuisine, Australia has put its own spin on classic European recipes such as the pudding and mince pies and even how to serve the main course.

    Whether you enjoy Christmas lunch on the veranda with an iconic shrimp on the barbie, or gather in the dining room to carve a Christmas ham, Australian seasonal foods showcase the freshest ingredients and the best of the country’s produce. Ring the changes with some  variations that give the classics a flavour twist like the typical Christmas Ham by spicing it up with different sauces.

    You could prepare a ginger beer-glazed ham: this is not your usual Christmas ham glaze as Asian spices, kaffir lime leaf and the ginger beer make a sticky, Asian flavoured glaze, which pairs perfectly with a fresh fig and melon salad.

    There are so many different and delicious glazes to go with a Christmas ham, that it’s always hard to choose the perfect one but you can find new options and get inspired: blueberry-chipotle glaze, a brown sugar mustard glaze, an orange soy glaze or a cherry ginger glaze for a fresh summery flavour or a peach-jalapeño glaze if you prefer the spicy kick.

    While some might prefer to be traditional there is so much more then Ham that can be served for Christmas. Other options you might like to try are: garlic and oregano chicken with smashed cucumbers, Quail with grape, walnut and pomegranate salad or maybe a classic Duck a l’Orange.

    To accompany these meat-lover meals, you can serve something fresh like a grilled haloumi, peach and mint salad, or a double mint potatoes salad dressed with creme fraiche and lemon.

    And to wrap it all up, you can’t miss dessert: so many options here, like the classic Christmas pudding and a traditional Aussie pavlova but if you feel like trying something a bit different you can’t go wrong with a berry or a triple honey chocolate trifles (not only are they gorgeous, they feed a crowd and can be made in advance) or a cherry, raspberry and almond tart. Or just enjoy a platter of fresh summer fruits including new seasons cherries and berries.

    So get ready to feed the family with all these Christmas recipes!

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