This time of the year (whatever holiday may be your favorite) is a great opportunity to embrace traditions and Christmas dishes that make your table look aesthetic and charming, and your stomach feel happy. It is also a great time to discover and put into practice new recipes that hold more than just delicious and exotic ingredients but also tell stories of the world we are in and the different cultures that integrate it. 

For example, in Latin cultures, the holiday season is welcomed with colorful settings, easy-to-make (and digest) recipes, and traditions, like sobremesa, which are proof of how Latinxs enjoy gatherings and storytelling times after having dinner and dessert. 

Here are 5 Latin recipes that will make your festive table look happier and tastier. 

1. Tamales

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Homemade Corn and Chicken Tamales Ready to Eat

This Mexican dish has been around for centuries (literally!). Eaten during the times of the Aztecs, Mayans, and Olmecs, tamales were mostly enjoyed on special occasions and served as sacred food for their gods. Over the centuries, as different cultures began to interact and share their stories, tamales began to take a big part in different holidays, such as Christmas. 

Nowadays, it is a must-be-served dish not only in Mexico but in many countries due to its tasty flavor, coming together opportunity (since its preparation can be time-consuming, inviting different members of the family to gather around to make them), and cultural background. 

Often prepared in large batches, it is a great recipe to take into consideration when thinking about what salty and rich dish could be served at your holiday table this year. 

2. Ham Bread

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Venezuelan cuisine: Christmas loaf pan de jamon close-up on the table. horizontal view from above

This bread is known for its aroma and main components: ham, olives, and raisins, which symbolize warmth, togetherness, and tradition. Does this not say all about why this is a crucial recipe to be included at every Christmas table?

Its presence on the holiday table not only tantalizes every palate but also creates a sense of continuity, linking past traditions with present celebrations. 

Known mostly due to its Venezuelan origins, ham bread is also served in different countries of Latin America and Europe. Proving its versatility, since it can be served during a snowy Christmas Eve or a hot Christmas Day. 

Fresh and easy to make, serving this bread has become a cherished ritual, uniting families and communities in the shared joy of the season.

3. Gingerbread Molasses Cookies

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What better way to say “Merry Christmas” than with gingerbread cookies with a twist? These gingerbread cookies are inspired by the Mexican “marranito” cookies so they hold the traditional holiday spirit but with a molasses addition that makes them even more festive.

Made with a rich blend of spices like ginger, cinnamon, and a chewy texture won’t fail to evoke that nostalgic aroma popular at this time of the year. Plus its shapes making and decorations will invite children and loved ones to have fun before even being served. 

4. Mexican Snowman Chocolate Cake

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If gingerbread cookies are not enough sweets for this holiday season, there is no doubt that what you’ll need is a snowman chocolate cake. Fun and delicious, this cake is based on regular chocolate mixed with an extra of Mexican chocolate. 

Adding a delightful touch to this winter celebration with a playful charm of a snowman, this cake is a culinary work of art that, promise, will leave everyone amazed with its presentation and flavor. 

Summing up, the Mexican Chocolate Snowman Cake is more than just a dessert; it’s a festive embodiment of joy, warmth, and the magic of the holiday season.

5. Chicha Venezolana

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This classic beverage from Venezuela is a sweet and creamy rice drink that will spice up the season. A balanced mix of cinnamon, vanilla essence, condensed milk, and rice, is an ideal way to toast and honor the end of the year and what’s to come. 

Full of flavor and ideal to share with friends and family, the Chicha Venezolana is the ideal drink to welcome the holiday season and the end of the year. 

For Latinxs, Christmas is not just a time for exchanging gifts and festive decorations; it’s a celebration of family, culture, and, as you can see, delicious food! 

These 5 dishes not only showcase the diverse culinary heritage of the region but also bring people together to savor the joy of the season. As families gather around the table, the aromas and tastes of these popular Latin dishes create lasting memories and traditions that make the holidays truly special.

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