Actualizado: 12 oct 2019
Christmas! Definitely I am that kind of people who loves Christmas and everything that has to do with it, decorating the house, the Christmas tree and its smell of pine, the posadas, the illusion of children to receive gifts, But there are two things that I really enjoy these holidays, one is the family that gathers and the food and well the last one is easy to guess coming from me.
Christmas in Mexico arrives with the arrival of the Spaniards and as in many other Mexican traditions, there is also a fusion of elements of the new and old continent to create our own identity and way of celebrating Christmas.
One of the most important traditions in Mexico are the "Posadas" in theory they have a religious meaning since these celebrations are the prelude to Christmas and symbolize the pilgrimage of Joseph and Mary from Bethlehem to Nazareth looking for a place to spend the night, the tradition dictates that they begin 9 days before Christmas eve, friends and family gather to break piñatas, sing Christmas carols, ask for posada (the word posada means hostal, so when we say “ask for posada” means looks for a place to stay a shelter) and above all, eat and drink.
Yes, eat! And oh boy we do it, “posadas” are a feast. In a traditional posadas you will always find dishes as tamales, tostadas, corn (roasted or cooked with cream and chili) and tacos, what in Mexico we call "antojitos" that are very traditional dishes relatively easy to serve and eat. Drinks such as "Fruit punch" which is served hot and is made with water, fruits of the season, spices and sweetened with sugar or piloncillo (molasses extracted from the juice of sugar cane solidified). The fruits that are used are mainly sugar cane, tejocote (mexican fruit) guava, plum, lemon, tangerine, orange and spices such as cinnamon, anise, clove or pepper, "Champurrado" is a prehispanic drink made by mixing the dough of nixtamalized corn with chocolate to obtain a foamy and warm drink and our aguas frescas can not be miss either. And for what I think characterizes the Christmas holidays in Mexico and are the cherry of the cake are “Buñuelos” that are the sweet part or the dessert of these parties, the “Buñuelos” are fritters made mainly from wheat flour and sugar with circular figures and sweetened on the surface with sugar or syrup. There are two types of “Buñuelos”, the flavor is the same, what changes is the form and with what they are sweetened. The "Buñuelos de Rodilla" (the translation would be “Knee Buñuelos” are a kind of a large discs with a diameter that can be from 20cm and are regularly sweetened with sugar or syrup made with piloncillo and "buñuelos de viento" (the translation would be “Wind Buñuelos”)which are also circular but with decorative shapes simulating stars or flowers and sprinkled with sugar.
Probably all this delicious seasonal food is not found in restaurants, most are dishes that people cook at home to share with family and friends, but you will be able to find "Buñuelos" in the market and mom & pops in the street. Try them they are delicious.