Christmas Food in Guatemala

Christmas Food in Guatemala

As Christmas is not complete without a tree, in Guatemala, certain traditional foods put the merry in Christmas. These foods are not fancy or expensive but relatively simple meals that you can easily find in any Guatemalan home during Christmas.

Guatemalan culture closely relates to the Roman Catholic Church. Therefore, Christmas festivities begin a few weeks leading up to the actual day. It starts with the story of Mary and Joseph until the baby is born. The people sing songs to praise Jesus, but the holiday is never complete without the treats and desserts.

Here are a few foods you can find in Guatemala during Christmas.

The best Food for Christmas in Guatemala

Christmas food in Guatemala ranges from delicious desserts like Bunuelos to unique pastries like tortas. The desserts are simple so you can pass them around at your party or celebration, but if you want a heavy meal, you can also find some traditional Christmas meals like tamales.

The beauty of the Christmas food in Guatemala, like most parts of the world, is that you get everyday foods made better. For instance, tamales can now have fruit and chocolate rather than meat. Let us look deeper into what Guatemalans like to eat for Christmas.


Image Source: leftyp17

Like the regular tamales you find in many Guatemalan restaurants any other time of year, Christmas tamales are a favorite. They are the culinary gift that most people make for family and loved ones.

Tamales help families celebrate the birth of Christ more joyfully. Usually, most families gather around to elaborate and taste Christmas tamales on the night of the 24th, as is tradition with Guatemalans. Therefore, on 24th, families decorate their family table with tamales, among other Christmas foods.

To make the sauce, the regular recipe includes plum tomatoes, achiote paste, bell peppers, guaque chilies, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, cinnamon sticks, garlic, white onions, almonds, and tomatillo.

For the dough, the recipe features corn flour, rice flour, canola oil, green olives, salt, sugar, and chicken or pork. Most people use jalapeno pepper, cup capers, bell peppers, and almonds for garnishing.

After stuffing the dough with the filling, the Guatemalans wrap the mixture with banana leaves and tie them up with a cotton string or cibaque.


Image Source: mmr.dash

No Christmas is complete without some dessert. In Guatemala, Torrejas are those perfect desserts. They are the French toast version of Guatemala. They are usually sweet bread soaked in milk/eggs before frying in oil. The final touch always includes coating the toast in a sweet syrup made with sugar, spices, and boiling water.

Torrejas are very different, depending on where you eat them. Some make them with native ingredients, but the most common ones are easy to find. More so, the Christmas version of Torrejas in Guatemala is not kid-friendly. This is because rum in the decorating syrup is a customary step.

However, you can skip the rum when preparing the syrup for a more kid-friendly recipe. In addition, you can choose to add orange zest in place of rum. Cloves, cinnamon, and allspice are common for flavoring the Torrejas.


Image Source: manitobaturkey

While Americans enjoy their turkey all year round in sandwiches, especially on Thanksgiving, Guatemalans take their turkey on the night of 24 December. After hugging each other and wishing each other a Feliv Navidad when the clock hits midnight, Guatemalans sit to have a meal.

Usually, turkey in Guatemala is the crucial ingredient in making Kack ik. This Mayan stew is a festive meal that families have as they celebrate the end of the year. They also enjoy turkey as part of their tamales, which they prepare specifically for that event.

Even when the celebrations resume on the 25th, you can still find some turkey as the main meal in homes or tamales.


Image Source: cocinarygozar

Like eggnog is a custom in the US, Rompope is the official Christmas drink in Guatemala. The recipe for the drink features sweet milk, egg, and rum. For flavor, you can go with cinnamon, vanilla, or nutmeg for the whole Christmas experience.

Depending on the occasion, the amount of rum in the Rompope varies. Sometimes, it is concentrated, and sometimes, it is lighter.

In Guatemala, you can enjoy a glass of eggnog with your friends when they show up for Christmas celebrations unannounced. You can also have it in traditional gatherings, with your office friends when discussing Christmas plans, or at convivios when you attend the end-of-year festivals.

Roasted Pig

Image Source: whattoeatph

Christmas celebrations reach the climax when the roasted pig comes to the table. In Guatemala, a roasted pig is a delicious and crucial part of a Christmas table. The preparation involves roasting a hog with pineapples, apples, and spices for at least 7 hours.

When the roasted pig is on the table, it is succulent with sweet flavors, and the meat falls off the bone. Some families will add wine or bourbon for the flavoring, but if you want your family to enjoy the meal, children included, you can use chicken stock.

You can serve the roasted pig with green beans, potato salad, or mashed potatoes, and your Christmas will be fantastic.

Final Thoughts

As you prepare to make the most delicious Christmas foods in Guatemala, remember that family and friends come first in all celebrations. However, that should not stop you from going all out to make the best meal for your family. Whether preparing a cocktail drink to wash down the food, or a dessert for your children, make sure you go all out to give them the best. Alternatively, you can visit Guatemala and enjoy these delicacies from the experts.

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