Traditional Pinoy Christmas Food: Which is Your Favorite?

As the Christmas season approaches, you will notice some traditional Christmas food that has become available. And your festive season will not be complete if you don’t get to taste any of these.

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Which one do you usually have? Are these foods still available even if you are based here in Qatar?

leche flan

All Your Favorite Christmas Food

The Christmas season will not be complete without these traditional festive foods. You will not see some of these for the rest of the year. Which of these have you eaten lately?

Puto bumbong – is a snack that is usually sold near a church during Simbang Gabi. After the mass, it is customary to have some freshly-cooked Puto bumbong wrapped in a banana leaf. The purple rice cake, shred of coconut, sesame seeds, and a sprinkle of white sugar is the perfect reward after going to church. Nowadays, the puto bumbong has improved since you can buy it with egg slices for topping.

Bibingka – just like the puto bumbong, bibingka is also available near the church after Simbang Gabi. This snack is made up of glutinous rice, coconut milk, sugar, margarine, cheese, and salted egg as topping. You don’t have to miss bibingka for the rest of the year since it is available in malls and other food kiosks.

Castañas – are roasted nuts that are usually sold on the streets. Vendors roast the nuts in the wok, so there are sold hot. These have a smoky and sweet flavor but can be a bit pricey. You always hear this Christmas snack in the song, “Sa Paskong Darating.”

Queso de Bola – when you see queso de bola sold in groceries, you will know that Christmas is fast approaching. The queso de bola is made up of Edam cheese with red paraffin wax for coating. The cheese tastes a bit salty and is usually hard. Some enjoy pairing queso de bola with the Christmas ham.

Christmas ham – is made of cured, smoked pork. It is only available during the Christmas season. This ham gives a smoky taste, with a hint of pineapple syrup. As mentioned earlier, Christmas ham is best paired with queso de bola. But you can eat this ham by itself. It is also recommended to cook the ham before eating. You can buy Christmas ham in supermarkets. Some manufacturers also have hams made up of cured chicken.

Salad – this favorite dessert has three types: fruit salad, buko salad, or macaroni salad. Both buko and fruit salad use fruits, colored jellies, all-purpose cream, or condensed milk. It is best to chill the salad before serving. Salad is also served on other Filipino occasions such as birthdays or fiesta.

Leche flan – is custard with caramel glaze. It is sweet and soft. The caramel topping makes the leche flan taste better. This dessert is quite complicated to prepare, that’s why it is reserved for special occasions only. The ingredients are readily available, so you can do this even if you are in Qatar. But be warned that it can be quite complicated.

Videos: How To Cook Puto Bumbong and Bibingka

If you these traditional Christmas foods are not available, you might want to try making these at home. Here are some videos from YouTube to help you:

Traditional Meals During Christmas and Other Occasions

For a more festive occasion, most meals include lumpiang shanghai and pancit. Lumpiang shanghai has been a crowd favorite and it is hard to imagine having a feast without it. Meanwhile, the pancit symbolizes long life. There are many kinds of pancit that you can include in your celebrations, such as pancit bihon, pancit Malabon, or pancit habhab.

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