7 Classic Pinoy Christmas Foods You’ll See on the Dining Table This Year
It is a known fact that Filipinos love celebrations. For them, everything from baptism to graduation calls for a big party complete with a dining table filled with food and the loving company of close family and friends. So it does not come as a surprise that on Christmas, every Pinoy household would prepare a whole table of Pinoy Christmas foods that the whole family will share when the clock strikes midnight. Filipinos call this dinner noche buena, a Spanish term that literally translates to the night before Christmas. On this special night, a variety of palatable delicacies are spread out on the dining table much to the enjoyment of the whole family.
So what are the mouth-watering Pinoy Christmas foods prepared for noche buena? Well, this post lists down some appetizing classics that are sure to get you excited for December 24!
Classic Pinoy Christmas Foods That Are Served for Noche Buena
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7. Macaroni Salad
Macaroni salad is a simple dish that includes a variety of ingredients including pineapple, ham, macaroni, and cheese. The mix of all these ingredients makes this dish a feast for your taste buds! It is a classic Pinoy dish that is not just enjoyed during Christmas but on fiestas and other celebrations throughout the year as well.
6. Christmas Fruits
Filipinos serve Christmas fruits for different reasons. One common reason stems from the rich influence of Chinese culture in the country. The Chinese believe that fruits, specifically a variety of 12 round ones, will bring the family good luck and fortune in the coming new year. For others, the fruits are simply there to balance out the fatty meals served during Christmas celebrations.
5. Sweet Christmas Ham
Filipinos love all things sweet and tangy, which is probably why this popular dish is drizzled with caramelized sugar. The Christmas ham is often labeled as the “star of noche buena” and bears a similar concept to the Thanksgiving turkey. This dish is usually eaten on its own or with kesong maputi (goat cheese).
4. Bibingka and Puto Bumbong
Filipinos are known to be rice lovers, so much so that they’ve turned rice into a dessert! A variety of kakanin (sticky rice) comes in different colors and flavors. The most common during the Christmas season has to bibingka and puto bumbong. This dish is typically served right after misa de gallo, but you can find it adorning the noche buena tables as well.
3. Keso de Bola
Edam cheese, or better known by its local name keso de bola, is quickly distinguished by its red paraffin shell. Other than the Christmas ham, this iconic cheese doubles as a centerpiece for Filipino families. The unique-looking cheese was first brought to Philippine shores by a Swedish doctor who immigrated to the country.
This dish does not need an introduction. The rich flavor and crispiness of lechon even prompted celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain to declare it the “best pig ever” after feasting on the dish during his stay in Cebu. Speaking of the Queen City of the South, Cebu is known to serve the best lechon in the whole country. So if you’re looking for crispy, tender, and oh-so-good lechon, make sure you order from the best in the business!
Although known as one of the best Pinoy Christmas foods, paella was first served in Spain before it found its way to the Philippines. It may take a while to prepare considering the dish’s many ingredients, but the painstaking effort is all worth it in the end. The most popular version of paella in the Philippines is Kapampangan paella, which uses ingredients like chorizo, chicken meat, and peas. As it requires tedious preparation, paella is only served during special occasions.