5 Traditional Mexican Christmas Foods To Enjoy This Holiday Season

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By Donneley McCann

 Christmas is a very joyful, colorful time in Mexico not the least of which is the smell and taste of the customary food and drink.  Here are a mere 5 suggestions foryou to try over the holidays that will add the flavors of Mexico to any of your celebrations.

BACALAO – a dried salted codfish.  It started toappear in our grocery stores in November. My introduction was in Mexico City where it is very popular and istraditionally served during the Christmas Eve dinner. Stewed with potatoes, olives and tomatoes it is most delicious!

BUÑUELOS – a deep fried fitter.  Balls of dough are thinly rolled and popped into hot oil. Lightly dusted with sugar or topped with honey and cinnamon, this treatmelts in your mouth.  One is neverenough!

PONCHENAVIDEÑO – a Christmas punch.  Simmered fruit with cinnamon and pilloncilla (stick of brown sugar) no recipe seems exactly the same.  Just the smell of this punch cooking makes one’s mouth water.  By adding a “drop or two” of spirits when served it indeed warms the cockles of one’s heart.

ROMPOPE – an alcoholic eggnog drink.  You can easily make your own or buy it ready made. It’s luscious, rich, intoxicating flavor isa sipping treat.  Originally brewed by seventeenth century nuns in the Santa Clara convent in Puebla, Mexico one ofthe secret ingredients is supposedly lost but I do not find this a fault!  I have a wonderful recipe for a dessert made with Rompope as well.

ROSCADE REYES – a sweet bread.  Traditionally served on January 6, Dia de Reyes(Kings Day) this bread is shaped in a round to resemble a crown and bejewelled with fruit.  Into the bread are baked tiny plastic baby figurines to represent the infant Jesus.  When being served each person cuts their ownslice. Should your piece contain one of these figurines you, and all who did,are obligated to host a party on February 2, Dia de Candelaria, at which tamales should be served.

If you are inspired to serve any (or all) of these delightful Mexican treats please feel free to call me and I will be right over to enjoy them with you!

Donneley has been a full-time resident of La Paz for several years. She is a regular on the social scene and is famously known for her extravagant dinners.

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