AS with most countries across the world, Spain’s Christmas and Three Kings celebrations centre around three core ingredients, family, laughter and food.
Traditionally in Spain, Christmas Eve or Nochebuena is celebrated as the main family day, with a large meal being served to the whole family before attending a midnight mass called La Misa Del Gallo.
Food plays a huge part in the celebrations, so lets take a look at some of Spain’s traditional Christmas delicacies.
Turron is probably one of the most popular sweet treats across Spain during Christmas Time.
Made from almonds, this type of nougat originally comes from the Alicante region.
These days it can be found mixed with peanuts, candied fruits or chocolate and can range from bite sized treats for kids to exclusive high end truffles.
Polvorones and Mantecados
Similar to Turron, these heavy and sweet ‘biscuits’ known as Mantecados can be found in Pick n Mix sections of supermarkets across the country.
Made from lard and sugar, they are an Andalucian speciality and are commonly found in Antequera and Cadiz and Almeria.
The recipe has remained relatively unchanged since the 16th century, apart from now you can find different flavours such as vanilla, lemon or chocolate.
Roscon de Reyes
The impressive Roscon de Reyes is Spain”s version of the Christmas cake and is traditionally eaten on Three Kings on January 6.
It consists of a large bread ring topped with sugar and candied fruits, sometimes filled with whipped cream.
Plastic toys are hidden inside the ring for the children to discover with each slice and sometimes a dry bean is placed in the middle. Whoever finds the bean pays for the Roscon!
The equivalent to British sherry, Jerez Dulce is a sweet liquor made from a blend of Moscatell and Pedro Ximenez grapes.
As the name suggests, the most famous place to find this tipple is the Andalucian town of Jerez de la Frontera, the town it was first discovered in 1100 BC.
Moving further north, to the Catalan region of Spain, many celebrate Christmas with a tasty soup known as Sopa de Galets.
Eaten usually as a starter, Galet Soup is a meaty broth containing large pasta shells containing mice meat.
Its origin is unknown but it is thought to have originated in southern Italy before making its way to Spain.
Most Christmas meals in Spain will usually start with a spectacular presentation of entremeses.
Entremesas usually consists of popular cold cuts and Spanish cheeses laid on a plate for the family to take and share before the main meal, however the term generally refers to anything that can be classes as an ‘appetiser’.
On most plates of entremeses, you can find jamon serrano, morcilla, chorizo and cheeses such as queso de cabra and manchego.
Instead of turkey, Yorkshire puddings and pigs in blankets, Spaniards enjoy a tasty variety of seafood across the Christmas period.
Most popular are shellfish and mussels, with many enjoying platters with lobsters, crab, langostines and tallarinas.
Another popular wy to enjoy the tastes of the seas is in a soup called Sopa de Marisco.
Whilst the appearance of a Toston Asado, or Suckling Pig, is not for everyone, the dish is a staple across parts of Castilla la Mancha and Aragon areas of Spain.
The dish traditionally involves slow cooking the pig on a bed of potatoes and onions until the skin is crispy and the meat is tender.
It is thought the dish originates in the 17th century in the region of Castile where it was served in bars and soup kitchens.