How We Holiday – Diverse Food Traditions

Posted December 13, 2021

Holiday customs in California are as diverse as its population. Many wonderful and eclectic food traditions have been brought to our shores and incorporated into our everyday lives from people around the world.

We are fortunate to have a climate that allows for fruits and vegetables to be grown and harvested throughout the year in California allowed these new inhabitants to easily grow their distinct and varied produce in a new country. We are also lucky to be the recipients of their hard work and delicious produce!

This month we are featuring our diverse PCFMA staff and all the food and cultural traditions they bring. We took a survey and asked about their family’s holiday traditions and what their favorite foods were this time of year. Winter squash, persimmons, pomegranates, Brussels sprouts, citrus, and potatoes were the foods most mentioned. At your Concord Farmers’ Market you’ll find Diaz Farms from Fowler with citrus, J&M Farms from Hollister with Brussels sprouts, and Halog Farms Merced with potatoes.

Ashley Olivera-Cortez, Direct Marketing Coordinator says her family’s favorite thing to do is, “Watch football, drinking mulled cider, and watch movies. We make our traditional roasted garlicky Brussel sprouts with bacon and pecans.”

Another member of our staff, Mia Simmans, Market Manager, says she and her family, “light the candles for Hanukah and make latkes.” Her favorite thing about working the farmers’ markets during the holidays is that the market feels so festive.”

Jason Rodriguez, Market Manager, says, “My family gets together to make the traditional tamales at Christmas – and I get to taste-test them!” He also loves all the winter squash available during December.

Regional Manager, Lis Garon says, “My family and I typically make pancakes the day of Christmas and drink mimosas, Irish coffee, eggnog, or hot toddies. I love my mom's prime rib recipe and I love the beautiful wreaths sold at farmers’ markets.

Dimitri Hagnéré, Market Manager, says his family piles in the car and tours Candy Cane Lane and looks at holiday lights. “We have Dungeness crab and hot cider for the holidays and I make cannoli from scratch, a family tradition.”  

Other staff members enjoy seeing their family, having cookie baking sessions, playing Santa for the kids, and savoring the holiday atmosphere that permeates the air.

There are as many different traditions as there are families, each one unique, and each one familiar. We hope you hold on to your traditions and enjoy this holiday season with the ones you love. Happy Holidays from all of us at PCFMA!