Christmas 2015

Seven tasty traditional dishes to devour at Christmas in Spain

Seven tasty traditional dishes to devour at Christmas in Spain
Mantecados. Photo: Javier Lastras / Flickr Creative Commons.
Spain has its own traditions when it comes to sweet and savoury festive fare. The Local explores seven of the most delicious.

1. Turrón 

Photo: Lablascovegmenu / Flickr Creative Commons.

This sweet nougat made of honey, sugar and toasted almonds is a popular Christmas treat across the Iberian peninsula. From the hard Alicante style to the softer version from Jijona.

2. Turkey

Photo: Annie / Flickr Creative Commons.

The bird that most Americans associate with November and Thanksgiving often makes an appearance on Spaniards' tables for Christmas. 

3. Seafood

Photo: emivel2003 / Flickr Creative Commons.

Mariscos are quite popular to eat for Christmas meals, anything from fish soup, lobster, prawns to langostinos, as pictured above.

4. Roscón de Reyes

Photo: Secret Tenerife / Flickr Creative Commons.

This “king cake” in Spanish-speaking countries is traditionally eaten on January 6th to celebrate Epiphany when the three kings brought gifts to baby Jesus. The ring-shaped cake typically has a hidden figure inside and whoever gets the slice with the figure inside “wins” – though some make the winner buy next year's cake.

5. Polvorones and mantecados

Mantecados. Photo: Javier Lastras / Flickr Creative Commons.

These crumbly cakes are another traditional Christmas shortbread dessert. Mantecados are distinct in that they are prepared with pig fat – manteca – while polvorones are named because they crumble into powder – polvo.

6. Yema

Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

These little cakes, a specialty of Ávila, are made of mainly egg yolk and often covered in sugar or icing. 

7. Jamón 

Photo: Boca Dorada / Wikimedia Commons.

Because when is it NOT the right time of year for jamón? In Spain, it's always time for jamón.


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