6 Christmas Dishes: Do You Know About Their Wonderful Origins?
Choose Philippines | Dec 11, 2017
Christmas, especially in the Philippines, is a season of love, giving, joy, and family. Of course, none of that happens in a vacuum—oftentimes, the festivities begin, revolve around, and end with food, and lots of it.
Here are some of the iconic dishes on every Noche Buena table, and where they originated:
What's a celebration without lechon? Not a very Filipino one, if you ask us. Lechon is the Spanish term for roasted suckling pig, and was popular in the Americas long before the colonizers came. It's such a great way to prepare a dish, we used it to create lechon manok, lechon baka, lechon crocodile, lechon macau, lechon kawali, and anything else you can imagine.
No one really knows where ham came from. As compared to roasted pig which has its origins in the Americas, the process of cutting up ham and curing it isn't something that can easily be pinpointed, with some sources saying it came from Asia, and some atrributing its origins to Europe. Whatever you choose to believe in, this dish is better with rice.
Queso de Bola
Who hasn't wondered what these magical spheres were made of, sometimes appearing out of thin air and onto your kitchen table? Well, they're actually made of Edam cheese, and is known that way everywhere else. These balls of goodness come from the town of Edam in the Netherlands, and are best paired with leftover ham and fresh pandesal.
Good old fashioned Morcon roulade ????????????stuffed with chorizo, queso de bola, pimiento, hard boiled egg quarters, and sweet pickles, slow simmered in fresh tomatoes and tomato sauce (enriched with ham bone ????). Demo'd by Chef Myrna Segismundo for @themayakitchen1 Filipino Flavors of Christmas????????????. #pinoyclassics #morcon #filipinofood ????????????????????????
In the Philippines, a morcon is prepared the same way embutido is: with bits of pork and beef, hard-boiled eggs, carrots, onions, and other ingredients. However, "morcon," as its known in its home of Spain, is a type of chorizo made with garlic, salt, paprika, and pork. It's very popular in Andalusia, Extremadura, Salamanca, and other regional parts of Spain.
The Spaniards spent many years in the Philippines, and our culinary heritage is very much intertwined with theirs. In fact, one of our most popular desserts come from Spain, and was tweaked to match Filipino sensibilities. Our leche flan is heavier, denser, and more decadent, made with more milk and egg yolks than its Spanish ancestor.
Another Spanish invention, Paella is divisive even among Spaniards. Since many natives call it their national dish, arguments arise as to which region or town makes the best dish. However, in the Philippines, it's often made with short-grain rice, seafood, chorizo, and topped with hard-boiled eggs, and all manner of delicious roasted veggies.
Which Christmas dish are you most excited for? Write about it on www.ChoosePhilippines.com!