Yummy Ways We’re Embracing Our Cultural Heritage This Season
Written by B. Morales for Rubenstein Law
Spanish turrones. Crispy potato latkes. Gingerbread cookies. There are certain foods that mark the holiday season.
Including special dishes in our celebrations is one way we like to stay connected to our roots. In Florida, with its diversity, every kind of deliciousness finds its way to our tables. We asked our staff how they'll be making their holidays memorable. The most common answers? Food!
During Hanukkah, the most popular recipes feature foods fried in oil, commemorating the miracle of the oil lamps that occurred during the Maccabean Revolt. The main meal may also include brisket or chicken.
Anyone with Spanish, Filipino, or Latin American background will be celebrating Noche Buena. Literally translated as "The Good Night," it's Spanish for Christmas Eve. In most countries, this big feast centers around a roasted pig or baked ham (lechón, jamón, or cerdo asado)--a tradition that dates back to colonial days. Others celebrate with turkey, roast chicken or hen, lamb or seafood. Venezuelans will be eating hallacas and those of Mexican origin will enjoy tamales.
Those of French or Haitian heritage will partake of a réveillon, or "awakening": an eleborate and luxurious late-night Christmas Eve feast, which includes sips of Anissette. Whatever our cultural background, we recognize that food makes any occasion special. Whether we try out special recipes or stick to tried-and-true favorites, there is always something we look forward to each year.
“We always have green salsa tamales and ponche navideño, a Christmas punch.” —Mayra P.
“In keeping with our Puerto Rican roots, we eat a marinated, slow-cooked pork called 'pernil.' My dad’s 'pernil' is known by everyone!” —Ashley D.
“Our tradition includes Wigilia (Polish Christmas Eve dinner), with 12 distinct dishes. We don’t eat red meat on that day. We fast until the first star comes out. Before dinner starts, everyone offers one another best wishes for the coming year.” —Chris Gaj
“This recipe was handed down from a relative. Now, I make this 5-Cup Salad every year for my family. They love it.” —Elizabeth S.