November 04, 2022 7 min read
Peru, like most Latin American countries, has the grand tradition of celebrating Christmas big time.
It is a holiday held and respected mainly by Christians around the world to celebrate the birth of Jesus, and since most of the population in this country practice said religion, Christmas is considered Peru’s main winter event.
The song says it: “It’s the most wonderful time of the year”. Kids wait eagerly to receive their presents and adults can’t wait for a few days of winter break and delicious food.
The way people in Peru celebrate Christmas is by cooking an abundant and delicious dinner on December 24th as a pregame before midnight comes and everyone can exchange gifts, hug each other and say their prayers.
But back to the food, if you want to know exactly what recipes you’ll find on a typical Peruvian Christmas dinner table just keep reading, and try not to drool!
If you didn’t know this, food in Peru has a wide range of cultural influences from places like Spain, France, Italy, Africa and even China, asides from the exotic ingredients you can find grown and bred in Peruvian land.
All of this has resulted in an eclectic mix of flavors and textures that make Peruvian food one of the most original in the world.
This, of course, is no exception when it comes toPeruvian Christmas food. Here’s some of the recipes families traditionally cook on Christmas Eve.
The stuffed turkey is a meal that represents most of the important fall and winter holidays all around the world, which are celebrated with elegant and elaborate recipes.
This turkey recipe has some variations that make it the most popularPeruvian Christmas food among families, like the use of orange juice,garlic paste, pisco and Sillao Kikko soy sauce, among others.
This kind of puree is the perfect side dish to the meaty main course, prepared with green apples, sugar, cinnamon and butter. Not many dishes work well together with apple puree, that’s why Christmas is the perfect time to enjoy it.
Apple puree can be made by baking slow cooking, slow cooking or steaming apples in the stove. My preferred method of cooking is using a stove.
Apple Variety The variety of apples has a distinct flavor, texture, colour and responds different to temperature. The most ideal apples to make puree from are ones that have a sweet taste with a flesh that can break easily.
However, I tend to believe it's up to your personal taste and the food you want to serve your apple sauce with.
My personal favorite Apple is Pink Lady so that's the one I most often consume. Other options that are great include
SWEETENERS The majority of recipes for apple puree or apple sauce require the inclusion or sugar or a different sweetener such as honey or maple syrup.
Personally I don't think there is a need to add sugar to pureed apples especially when you are using the deliciously sweet apples. I haven't included any in this recipe, and I strongly suggest that you not to add any if you are making it for a child.
SPICES I've included cinnamon to this recipe however it's not mandatory and you are able to leave the cinnamon or substitute it with another spice. It is up to you how to make your purée, cinnamon, ginger star anise, and vanilla all work great.
If you don’t particularly enjoy apple puree or if you’re going for the buffet-style dinner, you can try this delicious sweet potato puree.
Sweet potatoes, or yams, make a great and creamy textured pureed when you mix them with white sugar, orange juice, cinnamon, butter and nutmeg.
Every goodPeruvian Christmas food must have a thick and tasty sweet potato puree.
No Christmas dinner is complete without a fresh element that can only be brought in by a salad. In Peru, the salad that is prepared the most is, of course, the Christmas salad.
Balance your meal with this mix of cabbage, apples, carrots, pineapple in syrup, grapes, almonds, nuts and some yogurt.
Another meal that can only be enjoyed once a year, Christmas Rice is prepared with chopped bacon pieces, minced onion, minced garlic, cinnamon, almonds, pecan nuts, julienne spinach leaves and several types of peppers.
Although its name says it’s exclusivePeruvian Christmas food, you’ll want to try this recipe any time of the year.
A tradition that we can easily trace back to Italian influence over Peru, Panetone was brought in the 60s to the country and, once it spread, it became so popular that nowadays many people enjoy it not only on Christmas.
This is a sweet bread that resembles a giant cupcake, with ingredients such as raisins, dried fruit and sprinkled with powdered sugar.
You can start at any time during the day or late after work that suits you.
Cut the panettone into thick or thin slices; it depends on you. If you cooked it inside a mold made of paper, cut it in half straight through it.
Cool completely, then wrap the bread tightly in foil. The panettone is expected to last up to five days but is somewhat dry after a few days.
I've yet to see a single scrap that was left over in the beginning. You can cover it with plastic, wrap it in foil, and keep it frozen for two months or more.
We can’t say hot chocolate isPeruvian Christmas food exclusively, but the tradition says the only and the best way to enjoy a big slice of Panettone is with a steamy cup of hot chocolate. Plus, Peruvian cocoa gives it a more exotic and strong taste.
Although Christmas is a holiday celebrated in most parts of the occidental world, there are very different traditions and manners in each country that give this day its special touch.
If this year you’re willing to give your holiday a spin, reach out to thesePeruvian Christmas food recipes and share them with your family.
Not only will you end with a full belly and a happy heart, you will have added a cool new tradition to your holiday.
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