Photo taken in Vancouver, Canada

Citrus and herb-brined turkey with avocado salsa verde voted California’s top alternative Christmas dish

America’s Christmas table is a vibrant variety of regional flavors, with each state bringing its own culinary traditions to the festive feast.

For example, Maine’s shores inspire a hearty seafood chowder, succulent lobster and a sweet finish of blueberry pie made from its iconic berries. Meanwhile, in Minnesota, the festive flavors of Scandinavia reign supreme with dishes like lutefisk, lefse, and Swedish meatballs taking center stage.

Yet, America’s essence lies in its ever-evolving cultural mix. As our nation’s demographics shift, so do our holiday dishes, blending traditional flavors with fresh influences.

Consider Oregon — a state where the rich Mexican cultural influence weaves seamlessly into its culinary heritage. Imagine a Christmas dinner in Oregon where the star dish is Hazelnut-Crusted Venison with Mole Poblano!

Here’s a glimpse into the recipe. Start with gamey venison and give it a crunchy exterior using Oregon’s renowned hazelnuts. This Northwest specialty pairs beautifully with the depth of a mole poblano sauce, a tribute to Oregon’s Mexican community. The aromatic blend of chocolate and chilies in the mole elevates the venison, making every bite a celebration of fusion.

Recipe website,, ran a survey of 3,000 foodies to unearth what each state’s preferred contemporary Christmas dishes would be, with some tantalizing results. Below are California’s top 3 choices:

No. 1 — Citrus and herb-brined turkey with avocado salsa verde
Drawing on California’s agriculture, a turkey brined in local citrus juices and herbs could be roasted to perfection and served with an avocado salsa verde.

This dish reflects the state’s Mexican-American influence and highlights the fresh produce for which California is famous.

No. 2 — Asian-fusion Pacific king salmon
Celebrating California’s Pacific coastline and its Asian-American communities, a king salmon could be prepared with a soy-honey glaze and a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds.

Accompaniments could include a ginger-scallion relish and a side of sautéed bok choy or a salad featuring California-grown Asian pears.

No. 3 — Wine country-inspired rosemary lamb chops with fig balsamic reduction
Influenced by the Mediterranean-like climate of California’s wine country, grilled lamb chops marinated with rosemary and garlic sourced from local farms could be paired with a fig balsamic reduction. This would showcase the fusion of local ingredients and wine culture, creating a dish that’s both rustic and elegant.

Every Christmas table unfolds a story — a rich narrative of heritage, community, and creativity. Our survey of foodies paints a portrait of America’s diverse and vibrant culinary scene’ saidAnna Young from Miss Wish.