Favorite Christmas Foods in the Philippines
Top 10 favorite Xmas food in the Philippines
Christmas is the time when we get to eat foods especially made for this season. Whether these are for Christmas parties or for Christmas reunions or for the Noche Buena (celebrated on Christmas Eve), we look forward to these times for the fun or for the simple joy of partaking a meal with people whom we love or are friendly with.
Christmas in the Philippines is no exception. In fact, Filipinos are people who are really known to love their food, especially during this special season. We love food so much that if we’re going to have a Christmas party in the house, we’ll literally spend days preparing the food. Despite the rising popularity of catered foods, we still prefer to make our own, from scratch.
Featured in this hub are some of the favorite foods we love to eat during the Christmas season.
My Other Philippine Food Hubs
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Ham – or Christmas ham or simply the hamon (from the Spanish Jamon). These are of various kinds, shapes and sizes. The most common is the Hamon de bola or a ball-shaped cured ham. You can also have the pear-shaped ham or the chicken ham. You can glaze it with pineapple juice / sauce, fry it or bake it.
Queso de Bola (Edam Cheese) – This goes well with ham. In fact, it is the ham’s partner-in-crime (bound to give you more calories and to increase your cholesterol, but what the heck). Ham plus this plus sliced bread (or Pan de Americano) are the formidable threesome during Christmas time.
Puto Bumbong – This is what we commonly eat after the early dawn mass called “Simbang Gabi”. It is made from ground rice (in purple color) and is cooked in bamboo tubes over special steamer-cookers. When they are removed from the bamboo tubes, they are then placed on banana leaves, where they are spread with butter and sprinkled with grated coconut and sugar.
Bibingka – A delicious partner for the Puto Bumbong, this one is made from glutinous (malagkit) rice. In appearance, it looks like the pancake, however this is where their similarity ends. This one is cooked on a special clay pot, wrapped with banana leaves and with live coals above and underneath it. White cheese (kesong puti) and salted duck eggs (itlog na maalat) complete this delicious native dessert.
Lechon – Otherwise called the roasted pig, this is a staple food for any kind of celebrations such as Christmas, birthdays, weddings and fiestas. If you want to know more, check out my hub on the Unique food from the Philippines.
Leche Flan – Or custard with caramel syrup on top, another favorite Filipino dessert (see how we love desserts). It has two main ingredients: egg and milk and is a favorite dessert for parties, no matter how big or small the party is. It is a great take home food too.
Kalamay – a sticky sweet dessert made from glutinous rice, grated coconut, margarine, brown sugar and even peanut butter. It is topped by fried coconut milk.
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Christmas fruits – there is a tradition in the country wherein we try to have 12 kinds (or pieces) of round fruits on our table during New Year’s Eve. The belief is that having the round-shaped fruits will give you good luck for the next year (one round fruit represents one month). Whether this is true or not, Christmas is the time when we see an abundance of fruits in the country, such as grapes, oranges, apples, mangoes, banana, cherries, papaya, etc. If you can’t have them fresh, there’s always the fruit salad.
Castanas – Otherwise called roasted (Chinese) chestnuts, these are also found in other countries around the world. However, here in the Philippines, this is a staple and a favorite during Christmas. These are best served newly-roasted and hot. Of course, there’s the tedious process of trying to peel the chestnuts but it’s worth it just to get a taste of this delicious food.
So there you have it, some of the favorite Christmas food here in the country. If you’re a Filipino, feel free to add on to this list. If you’re not, feel free to leave me a note on the favorite Christmas food in your country. Until then, cheers and ciao!