Christmas is one of the most anticipated celebrations of every Filipino family all around the globe. As early as September, Filipinos are starting to play Christmas songs at their homes, putting up Christmas decorations and lanterns, others are also catching up the mall sale for Christmas presents. In a country where almost 80% of the total population consists of Catholics like the Philippines, Filipinos are very fond of celebrating Christmas aside from decorations and presents, they are also mindful of their menus on the Noche Buena.
Noche Buena is a Spanish term that means “Good Night” that refers to the Christmas Eve, the evening where a traditional family dinner is being held waiting for the 12 midnight to greet each other a “Merry Christmas” and also the time to hand over their Christmas presents.
No matter how big the family or how grand the prepared food on the table, there are some specialties that are a must in every Filipino dining tables.
- Christmas Ham
One of the traditional and must have in every dining table is commonly known as “hamon”. This round meat is preserved with different spices, available in different flavors that can be found in the in the supermarket or grocery stores.
- Queso de Bola
This red ball is an important piece in the dining table, after the Noche Buena, everyone consumes it by adding it in some cuisines that needs cheese or just plainly putting it on loaf bread.
This sweet red sauce in pasta is every kid and kid at hearts favorite dish in any event, Noche Buena will never be complete without these red sauce pasta with sliced hotdogs and grated cheese.
- Fried Chicken
A breaded chicken deep fried in oil that perfectly paired with a cup or more of rice.
It could be a choice between chicken and pork marinated in soy sauce squeezed with calamansi with mashed garlic. Bamboo skewers are often used to skew the meat, grilling it before dinner.
- Fruit Salad
One of the most favorite desserts in Filipino gatherings and celebrations, aside from being easy for just mixing various fruits or pouring the whole can of fruit cocktail in a bowl mixing with creams and sweetened milk, others also put coconut strips to add flavor.
- Leche Plan
It is always the concluding plate after a meal, Leche plan is baked from the mixture of egg yolks, fresh milk, sugar and condensed milk.