It's Christmas time again, and in Miami that means tons of Latin families getting together for holiday cheer.
The beautiful thing is that all their cultures mesh with those of every other country represented here and make for a Latin-American-Caribbean holiday season full of joy and tradition.
Here are our Top Ten Latin American Christmas food traditions.
10. Chile Christmas
Typical Chilean Christmas foods are: oven roasted chicken, turkey, cazuela de ave, and pan de Pascua.
These are tostones. They are chips made from fried plantains. They can be used to dip, scoop, push, shovel, dunk, and generally enjoy the delicious flavor of. They are found all over Latin America.
Panettone is like a Latin fruitcake. It's in every supermarket in Miami. Italian immigrants brought the cake to South America with them, and it has become an integral part of Christmas all over Latin America. It's traditionally enjoyed with hot chocolate on Christmas eve.
Coquito is similar to eggnog with rum. It's a simple mixed drink that families get smashed on for Christmas.
Lechón is prepared throughout the year for any special occasion. For many families it is a holiday must-have, similar to turkey on Thanksgiving. During holidays, it takes on a special place as the main course on the table. Baby suckling pig is often used and can be cooked in the oven or roasted in a pit in the back yard.
5. Moros y Cristianos
Moros y Cristianos translates to "Moors and Christians," the black beans are Moors, the white rice are Christians. Black beans and rice are a traditional Cuban dish.
4. Arroz Con Leche
Rice puddings are found in nearly every area of the world. The dish exists in some form in every Latin American country, though recipes vary greatly between borders. It can be boiled or baked, and recipes involving different milks and spices create regional varieties.
3. Holiday Tamales
Tamales are a traditional Latin American food found in many countries. They especially make their way to tables during holiday festivities and are made with both sweets and meats.
Buñuelos are a traditional Christmas dish served along with natillas, sprinkled with cinnamon, and consumed alongside, before, and after all the other goodies.
1. Caja China
The Caja China is a sacred roasting method that allows for the slow cooking of massive amounts of animal flesh in a manner that keeps the meat juicy and flavorful. It is a highly revered cooking method and a Latin Christmas mainstay.
Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.