World Holiday Food Traditions

When we come together at most friend and family gatherings, it is important to celebrate our culture through food, no matter what our ethnicity. And since every ethnicity has its own special treats made for the holidays, we rounded up a selection of New Hampshire bakeries for you to experience the united nations of Christmas in our state, and the spirit of celebrating and giving.



Hillary Davis is the author of "Cuisine Niçoise: Sun-kissed Cooking from the French Riviera" and "French Comfort Food."

Pictured are Finikia from jajaBelle’s Pastry & Coffee Shop

What and Where WHY GO Tip

Bûche de Noël
La Maison Navarre
121 Congress St.
(603) 373-8401

Super chic and authentic, this relatively new French bakery is owned by Charlotte, from Lyon and Victor, from Paris, who offer spectacular bûche de Noël, as well as French macarons made in holiday flavors.

Who wouldn’t want to receive a box of gorgeous pastel French macarons as a gift? Go for it!
182 Main St.
(603) 769-1873

To capture the essence of Greek tradition around the holidays, visit this pastry shop using fourth-generation recipes. Above all, try the finikia, date-nut filled cookies drenched in syrup and rolled in chopped walnuts.

Order a dozen of certain Greek pastries and one will have a quarter inside for good luck in the New Year.

German Christmas Stollen
German John’s Bakery

5 West Main St.
(603) 464-5079

One of the best German bakeries you will ever visit cranks out hand-made, from-scratch delicacies galore around the holidays, including a scrumptious stollen flecked with candied lemon and orange peel, scented with rum
— with or without marzipan.

Other Christmas specialties include lebkuchen honey spice cookies and pfeffernüsse honey cookies. You’ll be able to put together a box of treats and go home munching on their very popular soft German pretzels.

Traditional Italian Panettone
Tuscan Market

63 Main St.
(603) 912-5467


It wouldn’t be Christmas in Italy without the windows of bakery shops filled with towering sweet breads called panettone. Tuscan Kitchen’s has a slight citrus flavor and is filled with candied fruits.

Festive trays of assorted Italian cookies wrapped in cellophane, tied with a big bow, decorate the market, ready for you to take to a holiday party.

Tres Leches Cake
Dulces Bakery

157 Amory St.
(603) 836-1933

  For a holiday treat popular in Latin and South America, order their tres leches cake, a light sponge cake soaked in “three milks” (condensed, evaporated and regular milk or heavy cream), with a sweetened whipped cream frosting. With a dense moist texture, each bite is sweet and delicious.

Flans and rice pudding are also available and traditional around the holidays.