Starting on Christmas Eve and finishing on January 6, in Catalunya we have at least 6 special occasions to gather with family and friends to eat and drink. So, if you want to eat at Christmas in the true Catalan-style, these are the musts you can’t miss.
December 24 – Christmas Eve:
Until recently, dinner on this night was like any other night of the year. The influence of people coming from other parts of Spain, who brought their own traditions with them, have changes things. On this night, you might find homes that start dinner with shellfish and continue with a big baked besugo (red sea-bream). In others you will have stuffed turkey on the menu but what will always be present is a good torró (nougat) and neules (wafers) as dessert.
After dinner, the tradition calls for a visit to the Tió (we’ll tell you more about this Christmas character in some other post) to see what gifts it has brought you. Around midnight there is still time to feed your spirit attending the Missa del Gall (Midnight Mass). My recommendation: Santa Maria del Mar is the place to go.
December 25 – Christmas Day
This is THE day. A big family reunion lunch is prepared. It all starts with some fancy appetizers and it continues with a steaming tureen of Escudella de Galets (broth made of many different meats and vegetables), followed by roast chicken (the bigger the better) and finishing with turró, neules and all the small sweet nibbles you can think of (dried fruit such as figs, raisins, apricots, nuts, sweets, etc). Cava and wine help wash it all down.
December 26 – Sant Esteve (Saint Steven or Boxing Day):
On this day you meet with the family members you weren’t with on Christmas Day. The menu for this day can be summarized in one single word: Canelons (cannelloni) traditionally made with the meat leftovers of the day before. Here you have another Catalan Tradition: up-grading leftovers.
Barcelona Guide Bureau’s team wishes you a very Merry Christmas and all the best for 2015.