Here we are:
In Venezuela, traditional Christmas bread is made with ham, raisins, and olives! The name pan de jamón, which mean “ham bread”, doesn’t do this Christmas pastry justice: rather than imagining white bread topped with a piece of ham, imagine a cinnamon roll. Then swap the glaze and cinnamon filling for a golden egg wash and thin slices of savory ham, keep the raisins and add pimento-stuffed olives. Not enough strange? Add also some bacon! So, this is pan de jamón.
If a Venezuelan feel the aroma of hot, fresh bread, smoky ham, sweet raisins, and salty olives means the holiday season is arrived!
As soon as early November, commercial bakeries and home cooks start baking these sweet delights. They spiral the dough around the fillings to form logs, then bake and slice the giant loaf into thick rounds.
Venezuelans enjoy this speciality throughout the holiday season, but there’s sure to be one on every dinner table during Christmas Eve.
To complete a merry Venezuelan Christmas, celebrate with chicken salad, roast pork and tamales (a typical dish of seasoned meat and maize flour steamed or baked in maize husks), all watered with some good eggnog!