Sweet Christmas traditions


“There was a time in my country when people felt the spirit of Christmas in the fresh touch of the breeze on their summer-weary skin and when their hearts beat with joy”. With this paragraph, pianist and writer Aída Bonnelly de Díaz begins the last chapter of her work Retablo de costumbres dominicanas, dedicated to Christmas in the Dominican Republic.

This work offers interesting descriptions of the ways and habits of Dominicans between the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s. One of the most interesting sections of the chapter has to do with the desserts and sweets consumed at that time.

For example, after Midnight Mass, families enjoyed a dinner that included fruits that were considered “exotic” such as apples, grapes and a type of plum called “amorosa”. This category also included natural nuts or nuts in “garrapiña“, that is, solidified in a kind of cane sugar syrup.

Among the most exquisite sweets were liquor confections, African dates that arrived to the Cibao from Spain and nougats from Alicante. With the passing of time and, above all, with the opening of new commercial routes, many of these sweet products disappeared or gave way to others such as imported candies (mint, butter, cinnamon).

Today, the Dominican Christmas is still as sweet, but on the tables, in addition to the aforementioned sweets, it is normal to find homemade desserts such as the famous Christmas cake, always well-watered by the rich eggnog made from egg.

Do you have a sweet tradition for the holidays?

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