This soup of Russian/Ukrainian origin is also popular in the three Baltic States (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania), Poland, and eastern Germany—an example of the influence of Russian foods on the cuisines of countries that were once under the domination of the Soviet Union. Solyanka’s popularity is attributed to its versatility (using any kind of leftover meat or fish) and the combination of piquant flavors that make you crave a second bowl of it.
In Jamaica, Christmas carols are sung to a reggae beat and, in the small villages, Santa arrives riding in a cart pulled by a donkey, not a reindeer. A typical holiday feast would consist of curried goat, oxtails, and rice’n’ peas. Rice and peas (or beans) is a popular dish on many of the Caribbean islands. Maybe its popularity is due from the fact that rice helps tame the burn of chiles, although this version of the dish is not tame. The peas used are called pigeon peas and are about the size of garden peas and are available dried or in cans. Kidney, or red beans are also used in this dish, but during the Christmas season, only the gungo or pigeon are served in Jamaica.