🎄When to Eat?
To do Christmas dinner Spanish style, you eat on Christmas Eve unlike here in the UK where we traditionally eat in the middle of Christmas day.
🎄A Bit of Family History
At my parent’s house, we ate at 1:00 pm prompt. Overcooked dry turkey, soggy bitter whole brussels sprouts, pigs in blankets, Christmas pudding, pulling crackers, silly hats and terrible jokes. A fairly standard 1960’s Christmas dinner.
🎄The Christmas Sixpence
At that time there was a tradition of burying a silver sixpence in the Christmas pudding. One of the lucky diners would “find” the coin, usually with their teeth if they hadn’t accidentally swallowed it!
Us children would be overjoyed if we found the sixpence (2½p in today’s money) and it was off to the sweet shop asap.
Again in keeping with tradition, everything had to be served, eaten and cleared away by 3:00 pm ready for the annual Queens speech to the nation. So about 2 hours in total.
🎄Christmas Dinner Spanish Style
In Spanish homes, Christmas Eve, or La Noche Buena (“The Good Night”), is a real feast with family and friends. There are many courses starting with tapas-style appetisers, starters, the main course, dessert and concluding many hours later with Cava, Brandy and coffee.
Most families will attend either an early evening or midnight mass and enjoy their Christmas feast from late evening onwards, sometimes into the early hours. Fiesta!
There are five opportunities for Spanish families to indulge in feasting over the Christmas period:
- Christmas Eve Dinner – the main event
- Christmas Day Lunch
- New Years Eve Dinner
- New Years Day Lunch
- Three Kings Day – on January 6th
If you would like to try Christmas dinner Spanish style here are some suggested recipes which are favourites of ours. Give them a try, you won’t be disappointed.
🎄 Feliz Navidad!
Other Recipes You Maybe Interested in …..
🎄Menu (Menú de Noche Buena)
Starter (Primer Plato)
Mains (Plato Principal)
In the Extremadura region of Spain, a traditional dish of marinated chicken prepared with almonds, saffron, garlic and orange zest is served along with other meats.
Cava, Brandy and Coffee
Round off your special Christmas meal with a toast or two to good friends and family with a lovely chilled Cava.
Then relax and enjoy the evening with a fine Cardenal Mendoza brandy and a liqueur coffee.
If you are entertaining this Christmas Eve and want to try something different for your family and friends, explore some of these dishes and try doing it Spanish style!