Admit it, no Christmas party or Noche Buena is complete without the giant roast morsel of meat that also acts as the gorgeous centerpiece. Other than that, every Filipino family finds a way to celebrate Christmas in their own special way, more often than not, as a feast.
Filipinos love their Christmas staples: the quezo de bola, ham, lechon, fruit salad, and various kakanin we’ve become accustomed to. To cap off an eventful 2016, we’ve gathered some of the Filipino Christmas favorites with their own twists and added a few more we’ve been dreaming (read: drooling) about.
10. Pepita’s Lechon de Leche
Imagine that mouthwatering lechon flown straight from Cebu just so you can revel in all its porky goodness. Now imagine that same roasted pig stuffed with truffle rice. High blood? Totally worth every bite.
Photo from: Pepita’s Kitchen
9. Mr. Delicious’ Brown Sugar Glazed Smoked Ham
If you’re tired of overly sweet cured meat this holiday season, Mr. Delicious is the answer to your carnivorous cravings. The massive leg is glazed naturally then slowly smoked, resulting in delicate morsels of meat with intricate flavors.
Photo from: Mr. Delicious
8. ArroZeria’s Fideua Negra
If the yearly Paella Valenciana is no longer exciting you with its seafood and hints of saffron, it may be time for squid ink fideua to be introduced to the Noche Buena. This black baked dish made of pasta strands is complemented by succulent squid meat to make your Christmas just as jolly without missing the paella.
Photo from: ArroZeria
7. Indulge by Irene’s Quezo de Bola Cheesecake
Trade in the ubiquitous quezo de bola for a unique dessert worthy of the holidays. A quezo de bola cheesecake gives the same sharp taste of the cheese but becomes more indulgent after each forkful. End your Noche Buena with a slice and a cup of strong coffee to keep you up.
6. Malagos’ Tablea
Up your hot cocoa game with tablea straight from Davao’s famed Malagos Farms, an award-winning local label that uses single-origin cacao beans. Even your Christmas morning champorado will never be the same again.
5. Homemade Fruit Salad
No, not the one loaded with cream and condensada. Instead of the Pinoy version that could jack up anyone’s blood sugar, try it sans the cream and use freshly squeezed orange juice instead. Mix with all the fruits, refrigerate and serve with yogurt or ice cream if you want to cheat a bit.
4. Sebastian’s Puto Bumbong Ice Cream
For those who love the unique flavor of the kakanin but have experienced the umay factor after eating it as an after simbang gabi snack, there’s good news. Sebastian’s improved their Christmas ice cream recipe, lessening the sweetness and adding freshly grated coconut and muscovado sugar with each scoop.
Photo from: Sebastian’s
3. Russian Potato Salad
Can’t let go of the traditional Christmas macaroni salad but want to shake things up a bit? Conti’s Russian Potato Salad combines the sweetness of sugar beets, the starchiness of potatoes, the crunchiness of carrots and chicken chunks you’d normally find in a typical macaroni salad but less saccharine and minus the carbs.
Photo from: Conti’s
2. Dessert du Jour’s Caramel Crepe Pudding
While the well-loved leche flan has always been the much awaited dessert of many holiday celebrations, Dessert du Jour’s indulgent creation of crème brulee, caramel and layers of crepes easily steals the limelight this year.
Photo from: Dessert du Jour
1. Pamana’s Pampanga Bibingka
With the moist consistency of puto, these bite-sized morsels still have the traditional kesong puti and salted duck egg incorporated in each one. What makes these bibingkas so addicting however, is the salted egg spread topped evenly on each one.
Photo from: Valchoa
Got ideas to shake up this year’s Noche Buena? Let us know!