5 International Holiday Meals



To celebrate the Christmas season, Germans bake Stollen, a holiday bread that originated in the city of Dresden. Stollen is a marzipan-filled fruit cake sometimes topped off with powdered sugar.

Stollen, which dates back to the 14th century, was originally made without butter or milk because these rich ingredients were forbidden by the Catholic Church during Advent. Germans asked for the ban to be lifted, and the Vatican issued the "butter letter," stating that these dairy products could be used if bakers paid a fine. The money went to constructing churches.

Legend has it that Stollen is shaped to symbolize Jesus as an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes.