‘Tis the season to be jolly! Christmas is once again just around the corner! It’s the time again to experience the Noche Buena (Spanish for “Good Night” or “Holy Night”), where families gather together in a wonderful Christmas dinner to indulge in the massive variety of absolutely delicious dishes. For us Filipinos, the joyous family reunions and get-togethers is not complete without an abundance of food on the table. It’s a fact that it is physically impossible to finish all the dishes in one sitting but hey, that’s what makes us Filipino.
As food lovers, we give you the Noche Buena dishes that bring out the gastronomic holiday experience!
No doubt the lechon is considered as the “grandest of them all” in every Christmas celebration. Usually, it is respectfully placed on the center of the Noche Buena table in a very mouth-watering fashion. It is only right to be ranked as the top because this slow-roasted pig is packed with a flavor that will definitely take you to taste bud heaven.
The famous routine dish that is found in almost every Filipino celebration. The Pinoy spaghetti veers away from its other salt-oriented version by adding sugar in the ingredients, hence the sweet flavor. Cheese, ground beef or pork, and tomato sauce are the components that make up this nostalgic treat.
Christmas Ham with Pineapple Glaze
This dish brings out the regal essence in one’s festive occasion. The Holiday ham is a must-have addition because of the timeliness it brings to the table. The pineapple glaze is not only a great aesthetic combination but it also balances the strong flavor of the pork.
Bibingka and Puto Bumbong
Simbang Gabi is usually where this dynamic duo is found. As a Filipino tradition, people giddily gather outside after mass to indulge to the warm welcoming whiff of these festive delicacies. Aside from church vicinities, this combo can always be indulged in one’s household.
Crema De Fruta
A creative mix of cream, graham crackers and a mix of fresh or canned fruits, this colorful dessert is always a welcome addition to the Christmas season. The Crema De Fruta is always chilled then served cold.
Quezo De Bola
Every Ber-month, this red ball of happiness pops out of supermarkets and your local food stores. Cheese lovers never miss the opportunity to place the Quezo De Bola on the Noche Buena table. For certain families, this cheese is not even eaten during the celebration but it doesn’t really matter because just seeing it makes the place really feel like Christmas. Sliced, diced or served whole, the Quezon De Bola can be mixed in with the many dishes of the holiday season.
What better way to unwind by sipping hot chocolate during the cold season of Christmas. This drink is great to serve during family gatherings or barkada night-outs as you celebrate the day with long talks over the warm embrace of hot chocolate. This drink gives every Filipino a great affectionate feeling while adding a flavorful experience.
Another staple food in the Filipino scene. Barbecues are one of the most convenient and feel-good dishes in every Noche Buena. The grilled aroma of the marinated barbecue can easily make any stomach churn with anticipation. With anticipation comes the first bite where the smoky flavor of the barbecue is truly a joy to experience.
This fantastic wrap of culinary goodness is filled with mixes of shrimp, pork and vegetables topped with a garlic and peanut sauce. The mixed plethora of fillings is enough to get you coming back for more.
A classic dish filled with variety, the macaroni salad is a recipe that is rich in every way. Filled with pasta, vegetables, cream, ham, egg, raisins, and anything you can think of! Folks enjoy the taste of each ingredient, and every family offers a unique take in their very own macaroni salad.
The Noche Buena will always be a solid annual Filipino celebration. What better way to spend the holidays than by spoiling your gastronomic desires with the abundance of flavor every Noche Buena dish has catered for you? Not only this, but the warm gathering of your relatives and friends is enough to keep the place lit with Christmas magic. Can’t wait for the big night? Well, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get ready to brush up on some holiday cooking!