In most cultures, special occasions are celebrated with special food and Mexico is no exception. Whether you are looking to organize a Mexican-themed Christmas dinner or just want to learn more about Mexican culture, in today’s blog we offer a glimpse of a typical Mexican table during the merriest night of the year.
What Are Some Mexican Dishes for Christmas Eve?
Christmas is a big deal in Mexico, where it’s considered the most important holiday. Every December, families and friends across the country get together to sing villancicos (Christmas songs), exchange gifts, and enjoy amazing food.
While there are regional preferences, some staples of Mexican Christmas cuisine include:
- Carne asada
- Grilled chicken
- Bacalao and romeritos (Biscay-style cod and seepweed in mole sauce)
- Mixiote (pit-barbecued meat dish; see below)
- Roasted pork loin
However, keep in mind that when it comes to Mexican food, no rule is set in stone and versatility seems to be the only norm. For example, if you feel like celebrating Christmas with a taco bar, you should feel free to go for it even if tacos are not included in our “official” list of Mexican Christmas dishes.
A Brief History of Mexican Christmas Food
Like any other form of Mexican culture, Mexican Christmas food combines pre hispanic and Spanish influences.
For example, mixiote is a nahuatl word formed by combining “metl” (maguey, the agave plant) and “xiotl” (membrane). In fact, traditional mixiote consists in wrapping meat in the membrane of the maguey stalk and then baking it in a pit oven.
Bacalao, on the other hand, is a typical dish from Biscay, in Northern Spain. Historians believe that the Spanish introduced bacalao in Mexico and kept preparing it every Christmas as a way to stay in touch with their roots during the holiday season.
No matter where they fall on the Spanish-Native Mexican spectrum, all these Christmas dishes have something in common: they are a savory way to enjoy Christmas with the people you love the most.
El Pollo Norteño: Authentic Mexican Food
Craving delicious, authentic Mexican food? At El Pollo Norteño we’ve got you covered!
Visit any of our five locations (Anaheim, Santa Ana, Garden Grove, and Lake Forest), order online, get in touch through Facebook, or call 866-MI-POLLO to enjoy our authentic Mexican dishes: amazing chicken grilled to perfection over real Mesquite charcoal, caldo de pollo, flan, carnitas, carne asada, and more!