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    You are in: Home / Community Forums / Caribbean Islands / Caribbean Christmas Food and Traditions
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    Caribbean Christmas Food and Traditions

    Ed&Theresa
    Tue Nov 27, 2007 6:09 am
    Forum Host
    Tell us what special food and traditions you have for Christmas.
    RonaNZ
    Wed Nov 28, 2007 9:52 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    Black Cake was always something we had when we lived in the Caribbean. I've got out of the habit of it now but maybe it should make a comeback!

    Here are two recipes I found on here.
    Caribbean Christmas Cake (Known As Black Cake)
    Trinidad Black Cake
    We used to add a lot of rum to the finished cake. You poke it all over with a skewer and add rum over several weeks, a little bit at a time. One year we tried icing it like a traditional British Christmas cake but the icing wouldn't stay white. The rum soaked through the marzipan and a thick crust of royal icing! You were only allowed a small bit of our cake and no eating and driving!
    Ed&Theresa
    Thu Nov 29, 2007 4:26 am
    Forum Host
    Sounds Great Rona, thanks Ed
    WizzyTheStick
    Sun Dec 02, 2007 8:15 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    How well I know this cake. In fact black cake is also the traditional wedding cake here in Trinidad. It lasts like forever in the freezer. It is traditional to save a layer of your wedding cake(blackcake) for the birth of the first child at the christening. My husband and I weren't in any rush so the first child came along 7 years after! Every year my MIL complained that the cake was taking up space in the freezer! I had serious doubts when we defrosted it that we'd all end up in the hospital but apparantly there is much to be said about a cake seasoned with copious amounts of alcohol. The icing was more cream coloured than white but everything was as delicious and moist as on our wedding day.
    Ed&Theresa
    Mon Dec 03, 2007 5:49 am
    Forum Host
    Rainforest wrote:
    How well I know this cake. In fact black cake is also the traditional wedding cake here in Trinidad. It lasts like forever in the freezer. It is traditional to save a layer of your wedding cake(blackcake) for the birth of the first child at the christening. My husband and I weren't in any rush so the first child came along 7 years after! Every year my MIL complained that the cake was taking up space in the freezer! I had serious doubts when we defrosted it that we'd all end up in the hospital but apparantly there is much to be said about a cake seasoned with copious amounts of alcohol. The icing was more cream coloured than white but everything was as delicious and moist as on our wedding day.



    Interesting info, ED
    WizzyTheStick
    Fri Dec 14, 2007 11:44 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    Here are some Christmas traditions of Trinidad and other parts of the Caribbean.

    Ginger beer Homebrew Ginger Beer

    Sorrel
    Sorrel Drink (Trinidad)

    Ponche De Crème is definately the region's version of Eggnog, thick and sweet and served with crushed ice (yum) also called Punch a crema. Coquito is how the Puerto Ricans do it exept that they add coconut-delicioso

    Here it is typical for there to be three meats on the table for Christmas day.
    Baked Honey Mustard Ham

    The Turkey

    The Roast Pork


    For dessert there will be Black Cake or Christmas Pudding. In The British Virgin Islands they'll be eating Guavaberry Tart

    Throughout the Caribbean are small pockets of Portuguese decendants. My mom is 3rd generation Portuguese and at Christmas this Portuguese dish is found in some homes Vinha D'Alhos (Garlic Pork). It is pork that has been pickled in vinegar or wine and herbs and fried. Usually eaten for breakfast on Christmas morning with hops bread or as an appetizer. Speaking of bread - tradition demands freshly baked bread for Christmas.

    In Trinidad no Christmas is complete without the very labour intensive banana leaf wrapped cornmeal pie called Pasteles. It is also popular in the Spanish speaking Caribbean but with a variation in the dough mixture which uses root vegetables and plantain.

    Trinidad Pastelles are always served with this condiment Piccalilli locally called Chow Chow.

    Christmas is also the time that the homemade wines are brought to the table Guavaberry Wine ( Virgin Islands/St. Martin) is devine. My friend's mom makes the most wicked wines, guava, cashew (the fruit not the nut) pomme de cythere (or pommsitay) and Passionfruit.
    Manami
    Sat Dec 15, 2007 10:36 am
    Food.com Groupie
    I posted this menu for a typical Cuban "Noche Buena!" (Good
    Night) Menu 1539 icon_smile.gif

    Traditional Christmas Eve Dinner in Cuba(Before Castro)

    This is a very special night for the Cubans, it is called Noche Buena and they eat and then go to church to hear La Misa del Gallo (The mass of the Rooster). This menu is traditional with a twist of modern Miami. Many younger Cubans don't know about these traditions, as anything that had to do with religion was and still is banned. icon_smile.gif
    by DiScharf
    2¾ hours to ½ day



    Coquitos by DiScharf
    A wonderful "coconut" way to start an evening.
    Cuba Libre by Gay Gilmore
    It is now known as "La Mentirita" which means "The Little Lie" instead of Cuba Libre.

    Saltines (Loaded) by luvmybge
    Holiday Cheese Spread by DiScharf
    Wonderful Microwave Honey Roasted Nuts by Dave
    Empanadas (Appetizer) by keen5

    Seasoned Party Pitas by DiScharf
    Sliced Cuban bread or Italian bread

    Cuban Lechon Asado (Roasted Fresh Ham) by evelyn/athens
    Yucca With Garlic Sauce (Yuca Con Mojo) by DiScharf
    Make sure there is a lot of mojo and sliced onions.
    Cuban-Style Red Beans and Rice - Congri Traditional by DiScharf

    Salads
    Ensalada Mixta(Mixed Salad)
    This salad consists of lettuce, tomatoes, avocado and radishes (It always has radishes for this meal).

    Desserts
    Turrones by DiScharf
    There are many types of turrones, just slice into bite-size pieces and allow everyone to help themselves.
    Bunuelos (Fried Sweet Puffs) by God's_sugarcookie
    Serve with powdered sugar, fruit syrup or fruit preserves
    Torejas(Cuban-Version of French Toast) by DiScharf

    Cuban Coffee
    Really delicious when made with brown sugar.
    American Coffee with Cream & Sugar

    yummy.gif Enjoy!
    Manami
    Sat Dec 15, 2007 10:41 am
    Food.com Groupie
    Then there is the typical New Year's Day soup in Haiti drool.gif

    Soupe Joumou (Haitian Pumpkin Soup) Soupe Au Giramoun
    WizzyTheStick
    Sat Dec 15, 2007 8:37 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    HI DiSharf,
    all very yummy sounding . The cassava (yuca) with garlic sauce is something we make here - not for christmas but more everyday fare. Funny I've eaten it tons of times but never actually made it myself. Will give it a try...

    Would you believe that last night I seached zaar in vain for a coquitos recipe that contained real eggs! Seems like I left out the s- that'a why I did not come across yours-so thanks- will give it a try since it's only one ingredient more to add to my punch a crema. Interesting that the fear of raw eggs hasn't yet reached Trinidad.

    Want to try the cuban roast pork but my dad usually does the pork and I doubt very much he's likely to let me touch the pork icon_lol.gif

    This year because of zaar I'm actually planning on adding a few non traditional menu items. That's why my horrified dad is hanging on to his pork!

    I have also bookmaked that haitian pumkin soup which like all things Caribbean is familiar yet just a little bit different from what I am used to.
    Ed&Theresa
    Sun Dec 16, 2007 6:09 am
    Forum Host
    Great info ladies, thank you.

    Merry Christmas, ED
    Manami
    Sun Dec 16, 2007 10:15 am
    Food.com Groupie
    Rainforest wrote:
    HI DiSharf,
    all very yummy sounding . The cassava (yuca) with garlic sauce is something we make here - not for christmas but more everyday fare. Funny I've eaten it tons of times but never actually made it myself. Will give it a try...

    Would you believe that last night I seached zaar in vain for a coquitos recipe that contained real eggs! Seems like I left out the s- that'a why I did not come across yours-so thanks- will give it a try since it's only one ingredient more to add to my punch a crema. Interesting that the fear of raw eggs hasn't yet reached Trinidad.

    Want to try the cuban roast pork but my dad usually does the pork and I doubt very much he's likely to let me touch the pork icon_lol.gif

    This year because of zaar I'm actually planning on adding a few non traditional menu items. That's why my horrified dad is hanging on to his pork!

    I have also bookmaked that haitian pumkin soup which like all things Caribbean is familiar yet just a little bit different from what I am used to.


    Hi Rainforest, I hope you like it! icon_smile.gif I have been snitching some made Martita, a Puerto Rican nurse, and I ♥ it, I hope I don't get drunk.gif on the medicine cup size. icon_wink.gif Don't you know that the Cubans make yucca for as many meals as they can? Yes, it is usually served on Christmas eve!

    The Haitian Soupe is glorious - I just love it! It has chilipepper.gif in it - but the scotch bonnet, and I love the flavor it gives the food!

    Have a wonderful Christmas wave.gif
    Holbunny
    Fri Jan 18, 2008 12:25 pm
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    We made Sorrel for Christmas and ham and hops for New Year's eve. My in-laws (Trinis) always have a bottle of fruits (cherries, raisins, etc) soaking all year to make black cake at Christmas. Only thing is they use whatever alcohol they have. They'll throw in a little wine, of course rum, scotch, whatever they have a little left over of in a bottle and my MIL wants to get rid of goes in the jar! icon_smile.gif
    Ed&Theresa
    Sat Jan 19, 2008 6:14 am
    Forum Host
    Sounds good, Ed
    Dib's
    Sat Oct 13, 2012 11:10 am
    Food.com Groupie
    With Christmas right around the corner I thought this would be a fun thread to visit!
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