It’s a given – Filipinos take feasts seriously. The feasts we eat during Noche Buena and Media Noche undoubtedly make our holiday experience more unforgettable. Our handa, as Filipinos call it, contributes to the quality of dining we share with our family. It is the food that we partake that enriches the conversations with laughter, storytelling, and warmth.
Philippines has the longest Christmas in the world. Even after a week of the festivities, it’s most likely that your household still has some of these dishes left in your fridge. Here are the top dishes that you can’t have missed this season!
1. Christmas Ham
Filipino-style ham is usually the star of the feast. In a common Filipino household, people bake or fry ready-to-cook ham that is cured and glazed in a sweet pineapple-fused sauce.
2. Puto Bumbong and Bibingka
Who will ever miss these rice cakes during Christmas? If you were present in all the Simbang Gabi, you definitely have seen the side street vendors preparing and selling this delicious rice cakes!
3. Leche Flan
The smooth and creamy caramel custard is a must at Filipino feasts. It is a very popular dessert made with milk, eggs, vanilla, and caramelized sugar.
4. Queso de Bola
You can never have enough queso de bola during the holidays. This ball of cheese is a firm yellow Dutch cheese with a slightly salty taste and is usually used as a topping on ensaymada and Pinoy-style spaghetti.
5. Macaroni Salad
The Filipino-style macaroni salad is always in the picture during special occasions in the Philippines. It is made from elbow-macaroni that is mixed with sweet creamy mayonnaise, bits of cheese, slices of chicken and minced carrots. This salad makes a good appetizer that even kids will love.
6. Fruit Salad
This easy to prepare dessert makes a great ending to a sinful feast. The bowl of drained fruit cocktail, mixed with sweetened condensed milk and table cream is best served chilled.
7. Filipino-style Spaghetti
Filipinos like their spaghetti sweet. Don’t get surprised to chew on chunks of corned beef, slices of hot dogs and ground pork as these are the classic ingredients to the Pinoy version of this dish.
Embutido is a type of meatloaf that is a well-known dish for the holidays in the Philippines. It’s a festive medley of ground pork, carrots, and raisins mixed with generous slices of eggs and sausage.
What makes traditional fruitcakes special are the bits of candied fruits and chopped nuts soaked in liquors. It’s the perfect holiday cake to share with loved ones.
Are you still munching on some of these dishes? Don’t make them sit in the corner of your refrigerator for too long! Eat up and enjoy the season still!