Here are a few of the foodstuff and beverages that Filipinos typically enjoy during the holiday season of Pasko.
purple-colored rice treat cooked in upright bamboo tubes
flat cake served on banana leaves and topped with a pat of butter and grated coconut
hot chocolate, the drink most enjoyed by Filipinos during Christmas
warm ginger tea, a traditional drink after early morning mass
a soft, fluffy pastry topped with finely grated cheese and white sugar
(from the Spanish word for milk: leche)
velvety custard made with egg yolks, has a rich caramelized topping
QUESO DE BOLA
imported keso de bola (from the Spanish queso de bola)
ball of Edam cheese usually with a red covering, a traditional Christmas food
litson: whole suckling pig, roasted
prepared with Lady’s Choice mayonnaise
Filipinos consider it stylish and classy to serve Western foods.
In recent years, carbonara (aka “white spaghetti”) has been in vogue for Christmas Day… And the pretentious insist it should be pasta carbonara on Christmas Day and traditional spaghetti with tomato sauce during New Year festivities.
* There’s a joke that Christmas in the Philippines should be renamed Spaghetti Day because it’s become the national staple during the holidays… Everyone aims to to finish all the spaghetti on the 25th because otherwise the leftover will remain in the refrigerator for days. Throwing away food the way Westerners nonchalantly do after every meal is a habit that Filipinos have yet to develop.
from the can, almost always with a mix of sweet condensed milk and cream, as well as strands of young coconut; served in a glass dish
roasted chestnuts (from the Spanish castañas)
especially jamón dulce
sweet-cured Christmas ham (from the Spanish jamón)
Many of these items are luxuries that not all Filipinos can afford, so be careful about that. Don’t go, “Hey, it’s Christmas. Why don’t you have letchon? Or ham?”
Even a relatively simple meal that’s not regularly eaten like pork BBQ and pasta can be considered special foods for Noche Buena, the Christmas Eve dinner. What’s more important is that the family is together during the holidays, which is not always a guarantee because one-tenth of the Philippine population works full-time overseas.
* Spageti ang pambansang handa tuwing Pasko. 🙂