Top 10 Pinoy Food Favorites for Noche Buena
Christmas is celebrated the longest in the Philippines. At the beginning of “ber” months, the Christmas vibe is already felt in the air. Still, even if it’s the celebrated the longest, the culmination of the celebration, which is the Noche Buena, is always done with a feast.
As many are coming home to celebrate Christmas in their home towns, most of us look forward at the food served on the dinner table. Some are secret recipes shared from one generation to another while others are served as part of family tradition.
If the American Thanksgiving is highlighted by a perfect roast turkey, here are a few Pinoy favorites that most of us anticipate and would love to eat during Noche Buena.
Those who love to cook and have a lot of time to prepare for Noche Buena usually include this grandiose Spanish dish in their menu. Since Noche Buena is one special occasion celebrated by the whole family, it would really be enjoyable to have a flavorful dish that denotes wealth, which is in tune with the season.
9. Bibingka and Puto Bumbong
Attending the Simbang Gabi is made more exciting if it is topped off with a serving of bibingka and puto bumbong. Both rice cakes are sold outside churches usually purchased by people who just attended the mass. At times, both rice cakes are present on the Noche Buena feast as they connote Filipino tradition.
8. Crema de Fruta
(Photo credit: visihow.com)
A popular dessert served during Noche Buena, crema de fruta consists of layers of crackers (usually Graham crackers), cream, and fruit slices. It is chilled and served cold. Some households call it refrigerator or ref cake.
7. Leche Flan
Another dessert on the Noche Buena list, leche flan is a concoction of egg yolks, condensed milk, fresh milk, and sugar. It’s definitely a treat for those with a sweet tooth.
6. Macaroni Salad
An easy to make pasta recipe, macaroni salad is a staple in many homes during Noche Buena. Mixed with the macaroni shells are chicken strips and mayonnaise. If you want something more “grandeur”, you can add pieces of ham, carrots, and cheese. Pineapple chunks and onion can also be added in the mix. For added color, some people add a bit of tomato ketchup.
5. Tsokolate (Hot Choco)
Christmas season is marked by a cool breeze. Therefore, we find comfort in drinking a cup of tsokolate (hot choco) even during Noche Buena. Aside from being a warm hug in this cool season, it’s sweet and bitter taste makes us appreciate the season even more.
4. Keso de Bola
If you go to the supermarkets and see a red ball of cheese, it definitely means Christmas is around the corner. For many, the Noche Buena table feels incomplete without Keso de Bola on it. Even if it isn’t sliced and served, just seeing the Keso de Bola makes us feel Christmas-y. Keso de Bola is best consumed when paired with different dishes, especially cold cuts. In some cases, it is also used in making macaroni salad or fruit salad, or keso de bola cheesecake.
3. Buko or Fruit Salad
Salads are almost always part of the dessert spread in Filipino celebrations. During Noche Buena, we usually see these two variants – the buko salad and the fruit salad. These two are almost alike except for the highlights. Buko salad has buko (coconut) as the star of the salad while fruits salad has different canned or fresh fruits in the mix. The salad is made sweeter by a generous amount of cream and condensed milk. Cheese can also be added to create a balance in taste.
Since Noche Buena is a special celebration, which also sometimes becomes a mini-reunion for many families, it is but right to have lechon on the table. To feast with a roasted pig on the dinner table is also way of celebrating how thankful we are for being together, sharing a momentous occasion with one another. Also, it isn’t a grand feast without lechon. If there are balikbayans in the family, they definitely miss lechon so let them indulge.
1. Christmas Ham
That ball of ham is Christmas cut out and served on a plate. We can miss majority of the entries on this list, but not Christmas ham. Even during Christmas parties, sometimes receiving a Christmas ham makes it complete despite not having luxurious bonuses. To make sure its perfect, drizzle a copious amount of sauce before serving.
What food are you serving or looking forward to feast on this Noche Buena?
Share them with us!
Top 10 Pinoy Food Favorites for Noche Buena