FORGET the roast turkey, mince pies and flaming Christmas pudding; here are some traditional Christmas foods to indulge in if you want to celebrate Christmas like the Spanish this year.
Firstly, it is helpful to remember that families eat their main celebratory meal on Christmas Eve before the church service.
The traditional Spanish Christmas dinner was Pavo Trufado de Navidad which is turkey stuffed with truffle or Pularda asada which is a roast hen. However, these are not so commonly eaten anymore.
Entremeses are an appetiser plate, served at the start of the Christmas meal. The plate normally includes charcuterie such as ham, chorizo, morcilla and local cheeses.
Catalonia’s Galets soup are huge pasta shells, stuffed with mince served bobbing around in a meaty soup.
In Galicia, seafood plays a big part in a Christmas dinner and is often served as the main course instead of the traditional turkey. Lobster and prawns are also popular, as is a seafood soup or stew as a starter.
Cochinillo or roast suckling pig is another staple in many parts of Spain, particularly around the region of Castilla y León. It is cooked until the skin is crispy, on a bed of onions and potatoes.
For those of you with a sweet tooth, turrón is the most typical sweet to eat and is a type of nougat, made from almonds. These days, you can find all different kinds of turrón, from those made from peanuts or walnuts to bars filled with candied fruit or flavoured to taste like popular desserts.
Polvorónes and mantecados are small sweets or biscuits, mantecados are made from lard and date back to 16th-century Andalucia. Polvorónes are a type of mantecado, but are more crumbly and are dusted with powdered sugar. The most famous Polvorónes can be found in Cádiz and Almería
The all-important Christmas cake, The Roscón de Reyes, is a sweet bread ring topped with pieces of candied fruit and filled with whipped cream. While it’s eaten for the whole Christmas period, it’s traditionally consumed on Three Kings’ Day (January 6). This day is celebrated just as much, if not more, than Christmas Day, and is the day on which children receive their presents from the kings.