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A CATALAN CHRISTMAS: WHAT TO EAT OVER THE HOLIDAY SEASON

Christmas in Catalonia brings to mind the caganers, Tió de Nadal, Christmas markets, nativity scenes, etc. In general, it tends to evoke images of family gatherings, warmth and food… lots of food.

Over the Christmas holidays here, there are lots of delicious, traditional dishes that you must taste for yourselves if you haven’t already. So, here is a culinary Catalan Christmas guide that should help you enjoy your holidays here a little bit more:

CHRISTMAS EVE & DAY

  • Escudella amb carn d’olla: a Catalan Christmas staple, this is a hot soup made with meat, vegetables (chickpeas, carrots, celery, and leeks), galets (big, shell-shaped pasta noodles) and a pilota (meatball) made from minced pork and beef cooked in a saucepan along with an egg, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper —> recipe
  • Rostit de Nadal (roasted chicken with plums and pine nuts): traditionally served as the main course at Christmas dinner —> recipe
  • Sarsuela de peix i marisc (fish and seafood zarzuela): traditionally eaten before the Caga Tió tradition is carried out —> recipe
  • Torrons (nougat confections, usually made from roasted almonds, pine nuts, hazelnuts or walnuts): there are many varieties of torrons, and they are a Christmas must
  • torrons

    Photo from www.ara.cat

  • Neules (long, rolled cookie wafer tubes): a Catalan Christmas tradition dating back to 1267, they’re normally dipped in cava during the Christmas feast
  • Tronc de Nadal (Yule log): a traditional cake meant to represent the Tió de Nadal and served as one of the desserts during Christmas dinner
  • tronc_de_nadal

    Photo from www.cuina.cat

  • Traditional drinks: wine and cava
  • cava_nadal

    Photo from www.elmon.cat

SANT ESTEVE (ST. STEPHEN/BOXING DAY)

  • Canelons (Catalan-style cannelloni): made using leftover meat from the Christmas feasts —> recipe
  • Christmas leftovers

 

Now that you’ve got some ideas for your Christmas meal, may you feast and be merry!

Happy Holidays!

 

By EMILY BENSON

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