The most awaited season every year is Christmas. It brings different kind of joyous feelings not only for the kids but for adults as well. For kids, they are looking forward to gifts, foods, toys and other perks they will be getting during this season. For adults, they have office parties, reunion with families, old classmates or friends, they also enjoy doing Christmas shopping and prepare delectable food for their families.
Christmas is celebrated worldwide. Every country has its own customs and traditions they follow when celebrating Christmas. The longest celebration of this season is in the Philippines. Starting “ber” months, you will hear Christmas music being played on the airwaves, tv shows start Christmas inspired games in time for the coming season and Christmas decorations in the malls and street. When you talk about these, you will never forget the special festive foods you will find only during this season. Here are some traditional Christmas foods in the Philippines:
1. Christmas Ham
You will find it in the supermarkets, in different shapes, different taste and different presentation. Children are delighted to see ham on the table when they wake up in the morning. Sweet hams are the favorites among the kids. It is served with hot chocolate, bread slices and sometimes with kesong puti or goat cheese.
2. Bibingka and Puto bumbong
Two of the most popular food this season. In the street or mall food stalls, you will see vendors cooking the food right in front of you. These are popular especially when people flock to church to hear midnight masses. After the mass, they will go to a small stall selling bibingka and puto bumbong to satisfy their food crave during the chilly mornings. Puto bumbong and bibingka goes well with hot tea, hot chocolate or hot ginger tea.
3. Tsokolate de Batirol
This classic Spanish way of serving hot chocolate use traditional ingredients like carabao milk and tablea. It is most enjoyed drink during Christmas.
4. Keso de Bola
It is our local version of Edam cheese from the Netherlands. It is derived from its Spanish name (queso de bola). Round shaped coated with red wax. This cheese gets saltier and drier with age and does not spoil easily. Keso de bola in a typical Filipino Christmas table is usually found as a centerpiece for Christmas dinner.
The smell of chestnuts (kastanyas) being cooked by a vendor makes you feel nostalgic. The freshly-roasted chestnut gives you a warmth in the chilly holiday air.
It is a seasonal cake during holidays. It is made with chopped and dried fruits, nuts and spices. The flavor of the cake is best when it has been aged for a few months in a cool place.
Christmas season is the time to experience the joy of food and pleasure of eating with your family, relatives and friends. Make your Christmas feast a memorable one by celebrating it your own style, your own way, Pinoy Style.
Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year to all!