In a few days, we celebrate Christmas and prepare for the beautiful ritual of the family meal. We sit around the table, share the typical dishes of our countries representing our culture, and live a moment full of love and joy with our loved ones.
In Latin America, food is very important in the celebrations, and in every corner, there are traditional dishes that simply can not miss during Christmas. These five dishes are a small sample of what we enjoy.
The quintessential Venezuelan Christmas dish is the traditional Hallaca. Beyond being part of a tradition, the ritual of preparation makes it so special since it is made with the family and a few days before Christmas. Several types of Hallaca vary depending on the region of the country. Still, the traditional one has three types of meat (beef, chicken, and pork), olives, raisins, onions, and peppers in a corn-based dough wrapped in a banana leaf.
During the Christmas season in Mexico, it is inevitable to eat a good romerito, a typical dish prepared with an herb called romerito or salty quelite — not to be confused with the classic herb Romero. Romeritos are prepared on a mole base and are traditionally accompanied with nopal, potatoes, and dried shrimp. This dish is prepared for Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve dinner, alone or as a garnish for other dishes.
Peruvian gastronomy has a unique seasoning in the world. The dish that stands out the most during the Christmas season is the Baked Piglet. It is a unique dish that is traditionally marinated for a few hours or even from the day before with a mixture of several types of chili (amarillo, mirasol and panca), chicha de jora, salt, pepper, cumin, and oregano. This delicious dish is accompanied by morayas, tamales, and in some regions with Oropesa bread.
The buñuelo is one of those dishes that you can’t eat just one, and during Christmas, in Colombia, it is tradition to eat them during the ‘Novenas,’ that is, every night for nine days before the 24th in expectation of the birth of Jesus. Colombian Buñuelos, unlike other types of Bueñuelos in Latin America, is savory, a crunchy and spongy corn-based dough with a delicious cheese filling.
Argentines are known for their good wines, quality meats, and love for traditions, so at Christmas time, the first choice for dinner is the Asado. The tradition of the asado is a family custom. On Christmas Day, it is celebrated exactly like that, with all the family and loved ones around the grill where different types of meat are grilled and enjoy the summer heat, which is the season in which they receive Christmas on the south side of the continent.