Pinoy Christmas Food Traditions & How To Level Them Up
The perfect mix and match of traditional and modern
If there are two things we Filipinos know how to do, they have to be food and Christmas. They’re practically our passions, whether we’re eating, cooking, decorating, buying presents or just taking advantage of the holiday spirit. But the best part is that these two are perfect complements to each other since nothing says Christmas like a Pinoy Christmas feast.
But while we all love the traditional food choices (don’t deny that we all mutually salivate when the food is finally brought out), it can get a little boring sometimes. So why not elevate a few dishes up this year and mix the old in with the new?
That roasted suckling pig that proves all Pinoy households mean business is a classic of epic and delicious proportions. But while that crispy skin and juicy meat (sometimes on their own or dipped in sauce) is good all on its own, there is a way to make things so much better: Stuffing.
Now, most of us don’t actually roast the lechon on our own, but some places do allow such orders. Try your hand at truffle rice stuffed lechon or even a few herbs will do wonders.
Nothing signals the season as much as Christmas ham being sold by the box in supermarkets. And when it’s glazed with that caramel sauce and served on the buffet table, you know it’s going to be devoured by well-meaning friends and family within minutes. And while it’s a great pair to rice, why not up your game by making a sandwich instead?
It sounds boring, but here us out: Mix some wasabi with mayonnaise and slather that on the bread to hug the Christmas ham. We promise that it tastes as delicious as it sounds. And if you really want to go over the top, throw some chips in there, too.
What appeases children (and adults) more than some fried chicken? Perhaps nothing. So for those guests of yours that aren’t that adventurous, give them what they want and what they don’t know they want.
Instead of the standard egg-flour-egg coating, mix in something unexpected. Use chips or peanuts for the final layer before you dip those glorious chicken wings in the oil.
People feel differently about halo-halo. Some people love it, some hate it and the others fall somewhere in between. It isn’t the concept of halo-halo that usually turns off people though; it’s the fillings. The red beans aren’t a favorite and there are people that just don’t have a taste for ice cream and shaved ice. But we don’t just mean having a halo-halo filling buffet—that’s been done before.
Instead, offer options that aren’t standard. Let your guests have fun with strawberries, mangoes, peaches, chocolate syrup, custard, and jelly. And for the adults in the room, why not add a shot of Kahlua?
We’ve all probably gotten a basket of ensaymada at one point in our lives—and we all snacked on them on the weeks following Christmas. We know what it tastes like alone (heavenly) and we know what it tastes like when it’s toasted (even more heavenly).
But this year, we propose the combination of two classics: Ensaymada and hot chocolate. It will be the perfect closer to what we know will be a delicious meal.
This year, #CreateNewTraditions. It doesn’t have to mean ignoring what’s been done for generations and generations, it could just mean adding a new twist that will liven up the Pinoy Christmas Spirit even more.