It should be noted that the typical Filipino Noche Buena – the feast eaten after Christmas Eve’s Midnight Mass – features ham as its centerpiece. Even the poorest households manage to grab a few slices of cured pork leg to enjoy for Christmas. Depending on which part of the country you grew up in, the baked ham glistening with a sugary glaze and infused with the heavenly scent of pineapple and clove will be accompanied by paella or its more rustic local variant bringhe in Central Luzon, braised noodles in Chinese-Filipino communities, or fresh-baked bread in the big cities.
Even among families that have traveled to the West or whose children studied in Europe or the United States, turkey has never figured prominently in the Holiday feasts of this part of the world. Nevertheless, some local restaurants or international franchises have brought a taste of the groaning boards of the West by sneaking turkey in to pasta, stews, or – more commonly – sandwiches.
This year, Starbucks‘ Holiday Menu features a turkey and chicken sandwich on whole wheat bread with apple stuffing as a quick lunch or a heavy snack.
You get savory slices of roast poultry with crumbled walnuts, tart and crunchy apples, on some hefty, satisfying bread. It’s not enough to make you turn your back on ham, but it’s a wonderfully festive sarnie you can share with a friend or keep to your greedy self to fend off seasonal blues. 🙂