. I mean who doesn’t have fond memories of excitedly going home after Misa De Gallo to be welcomed by a table laden with all sorts of delicious dishes to share? Partnered with our undying love for food, Noche Buena is a tradition that won’t simply ever fade to obscurity.

What sets the Noche Buena apart from the usual Filipino feast is the distinct selection of food that is served on this occasion. If you haven’t completed your Noche Buena shopping yet, make sure you grab these 10 must have food items to bring the traditional feast we all know and love to life.

Glazed Christmas Ham

The first thing that comes to mind when Noche Buena comes up is the Glazed Christmas Ham. Many families consider it as the ‘centerpiece’ of the table. There is a wide gamut of available types of ham to choose from, ranging from supermarket staples to specialty ones. One thing is sure: a Noche Buena is incomplete without one. It is usually eaten by itself or with toasted bread.

 

Quezo de Bola

Another Christmas staple is Quezo de Bola – the creamy and salty cheese covered in red wax. This one is best partnered with Christmas ham and other cold cuts. However, you can also use this for a variety of other dishes like salads and cakes.

 

Puto Bumbong and Bibingka

Often sold in front of the church, these delicacies have re-energized countless parishioners by giving them a very early sweet treat. Nothing says Filipino like having these two at the dinner table. Get the Bibingka with salted egg for a more rounded flavor while for Puto Bumbong, make sure you ask the vendor to put a lot of shaved coconut and margarine on top. Most importantly, eat them while they’re still hot.

 

Tsokolate (Hot Chocolate)

Tsokolate is the perfect drink to keep warm in the cold December weather. You can buy ready-made hot chocolate mixes in the supermarket or, if you want something more authentic, you can make your own using a Tablea of Tsokolate. 

 

Macaroni Salad

With all the savory dishes served on the table, it helps to have something to clear the palate a little bit and Macaroni Salad does a good job at that. The good thing is it’s super easy to make, too. It is light and creamy, and also a bit sweet and salty at the same time. Ingredients include mayonnaise, pineapple, macaroni, and carrots.

 

Paella

Originally brought by our Spanish conquistadors, this dish has become well loved by Filipinos to the point that we have made it our own. Because of its many ingredients, which include a wide array of seafood, and the effort it takes to cook one, it is a dish that is reserved for special occasions only – and what’s more special than Christmas?

 

Barbecue

Barbecue is a homey favorite that has become a staple in every Filipino occasion. It’s easy to prepare and you can easily make a big batch of this dish that’s why it is present in every gathering. Making barbecue is also a family affair; everyone lends a hand from preparation to the actual grilling.

 

Spaghetti

Another must-have on the Noche Buena table is spaghetti. While some prefer its original sour taste, most Filipinos prefer it to be sweet. Little kids especially enjoy this dish as it is very familiar to their taste buds.

 

Relleno

Whether it is fish or chicken, having relleno is always a treat. It’s also another complicated dish to make so it takes truly something special for the relleno to appear in the dining table.

 

Lechon

Need we really say more? Lechon has become synonymous with big celebrations and grand occasions so it’s not hard to imagine why it has been a constant Christmas favorite. You simply have no choice but to give in to the lure of its crispy skin and juicy, herbed meat. And once the party’s over, you can cook the left-over as Paksiw.

 

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