The holiday travel season is fast approaching. For kicks, let’s say you’re headed south of the border this season and will be spending time in Mexico over the holiday break.
Let’s also assume that you’ll be foregoing a formal hotel stay and opting for short-term stint with a Mexican family. We’re sure you want to come prepared to celebrate all their most time-honored customs and traditions. And what’s more central to one’s culture than food?!
Tuck in your napkins and grab your forks, because we’re serving up some delicious details about what kinds of Mexican foods might you expect to eat during the holiday season.
A few of the traditional holiday foods in Mexico you might be served include:
- Russian potato salad. Also known as Ensalada Rusa, this traditional holiday dish is especially popular in Mexico’s northern states. It generally starts with a base of potatoes, peas, and carrots and may also include beets or apples.
- Pavo navideño. This dish of roasted stuffed turkey served with gravy is usually prepared criollo style with spices like cumin and achiote and served after mass on Christmas Eve.
- Ensalada de Noche Buena. Like it sounds, this fruit-based seasonal salad is served on Christmas Eve or Noche Buena!
- Menudo. Come Christmas morning most families in Mexico’s northern states will enjoy a tripe and hominy soup which is also sometimes referred to as pancita or mole de panza. It’s often prepared the night before on Christmas Eve as cooking time can be as much as five hours.
- Bacalao with Romeritos is a Christmas tradition of Mexico’s central region. Romeritos are tiny green seepweed leaves and often mixed with mole, potatoes, and shrimp (both in patty and dry form to flavor the dish). Bacalao is a cod dish. It’s traditionally eaten in Mexico’s southern states, as well as the central states.
- Tamales sometimes will replace the bacalo or turkey.
- Volteado de piña. Pineapple upside down cake is another traditional Mexican holiday dish that you’re likely to recognize. Though often thought of as an American dessert, this special postre, with it’s irresistible warm butter and brown sugar topping, is served all over Mexico.
- Ponche Navideño. To wash it all down, latin families will often brew up a batch of ponche, a warm spiced Christmas drink made of sugar cane, prunes, apples and the fruit of the tejocotes (a hawthorn bush). Adults often are served ponche with a bit or tequila or rum mixed in.