Christmas used to be much simpler affair, menu-wise. In our home, it was Hoc Shiu ham, a whole leg, bought from my Mom’s suki in Binondo, and finished off, the surface sprinkled with brown sugar, then caramelized with a red-hot iron. There was the mandatory Marca Piña Quezo de Bola, accept no substitutes please. Then humongous oldfashioned Capampangan ensaymadas, baked in-house by our beloved Apo Cion. Those were the three essentials every single year.
These days, we live in a more dynamic foodie culture. We’re swayed and dazzled by the delights we see everyday on social media. And every week, there’s a plethora of must-try items that we add to our bucket list. Here’s a few that I discovered this year, new specialties from some of Manila’s top chefs and most promising home cooks. Maligayang Pasko indeed!