A Look at Typical Mexican Christmas Food
Food plays a big part in the Christmas festivities in Mexico and Mexicans celebrate a three week run-up to Christmas, rather than just the day itself. The beginning of the festive season kicks off with “posadas” which commemorates Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem. Neighborhood residents in Mexico make their way to a different home each evening for hospitality and Mexican Christmas food.
There are pinatas for the children, which are paper mache figures filled with candies. The children take it in turns to hit the pinata with a stick until it breaks and the candies fall out for them to gather up.
Tamales are popular at posadas, as are bunuelos, which are sweet fritters, and hot chocolate is the drink of choice to wash these tasty snacks down. There is also a hot punch made at posadas for the adults. This is called “ponche con piquete” and is made with seasonal fruits plus a shot of spirits or wine. The punch is decorated with a cinnamon stick.
Mexican Christmas Eve Food
On Christmas Eve, “bacalao a la Vizcaina” is served and this is a dish, which includes dried salted cod, tomatoes, capers, red bell peppers, potatoes, olives and onions. Mexicans are very hospitable people, especially around the Christmas period when they open their doors to others.
Bacalao a la Vizcaina is usually made in large quantities so any local people without family can come along and join in the celebrations. The focus around Christmastime in Mexico is on the birth of Jesus and hospitality dictates there should be lots of food and drink.
Mexican Food for Christmas Day
Romeritos are a simple yet mouthwatering example of Mexican Christmas food. These are made with ingredients like potatoes and dried shrimp, as well as bell pepper and a dried herb called romerito, which is a bit like rosemary.
Romeritos are cooked in Mexican mole sauce, which is a combination of sugar, nuts, garlic, chocolate, onions, olive oil, toasted bread and chilies. This might sound like a strange sauce but it is really flavorful and the sweet and savory flavors go together perfectly. Shrimp croquettes with mole sauce are also popular on Christmas day.
Rosca de Reyes
The Christmas period ends on January 6 and this day is celebrated with a “Rosca de Reyes” which is a wreath-shaped loaf. The bread contains spices and perhaps dried fruit. It also includes figurines of Jesus, which are baked into the loaf.
Sometimes the Rosca de Reyes has a sauce or glaze over the top. This bread represents the final offering to Jesus during the Christmas season and tradition has it that whoever finds the baby Jesus in their slice of Rosca de Reyes has to invite everyone to the next fiesta on February 2, which is Candlemas.
There are some Mexican Christmas food recipes, which are eaten at any time of the year, like tamales or bunuelos, and others which are made especially for Christmas, like the bacalao a la Vizcaina. Christmas in Mexico is a time of celebrations, hospitality and enjoyment in food and drink. It is a time of fun for adults and children alike and there are plenty of celebrations and fiestas in every town and village, which everyone eagerly takes part in.
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