Christmas may be a hundred million things for the earth’s seven billion plus people, but the common thread that connects us is the food that we share during this time of the year.
In the Philippines, nothing says Christmas more than the iconic “Noche Buena."
And speaking of Noche Buenas, where all the attention of our Titas and Titos of Manila are directed during the holidays and a single distraction from their cooking would mean certain exclusion from the table, we list down the typical dishes that star in our yearly Christmas dinner.
To omit lechon from this list is considered sacrilege, so to save us from the backlash of our succulent-swine loving readers, we put this at top.
There's just no ultimate piece of delicacy other than Lechon that could ornate a table as much as this roasted thing of beauty. You could just serve lechon, true highness of any long table, and leave out all the rest on this list. Pero mare, ang high-blood, huh!
The star of the Noche Buena feast. There's no special treatment here among different Christmas delicacies, but hams are definite staples in the Christmas dinner table. There's not much argument there.
QUESO DE BOLA
Those big red balls you see since childhood just won't ever go away, do they? And for good reason as this special cheese was said to have been used as ammo for cannons because it is hard, big and round like a cannonball. And also during the Spanish era, these Edam balls were famous for maturing well through time, making them a favorite when Christmas time comes.
If that story isn't enough for food to be historically etched in our digestive memory then nothing is.
SPAGHETTI OR MACARONI
From Birthdays, Christening, Baptisms, Fiestas, special celebrations and Media Noche, Spaghetti has always had the immunity stone with it. It just can't be toppled. It's cheap, it has few ingredients and it's tasty. Boy do we love our "ispageti!"
Give me one mom who won't say their fruit salad is the best tasting fruit salad in the world, the universe rather.
Fruit salads are the ultimate dessert, appetizer, kontra umay, umay-inducer dish specialty there is. Just toss all the ingredients in a tub somewhere and let it bathe in its mouth-watering goodness. There's no secret to the best-tasting fruit salad, but every household deem theirs having the edge over the other.