Typical Catalan Christmas dishes23.12.2021
If there is something we enjoy so much about Christmas as spending quality time with our family and friends it is the food. During this time of year, some traditional dishes are made in Catalonia that you may not know yet but that you will soon be looking forward to trying.
Escudella i carn d’olla
One of the most typical Christmas dishes in Catalonia is the escudella i carn d’olla. It is usually eaten on Christmas Eve or on Christmas Day and the remains are often used to make other traditional dishes such as galets soup and cannelloni.
This dish is made with a broth made with different types of meat, vegetables and legumes, as well as pilota, a large meatball of minced meat with bacon, beaten egg, breadcrumbs, garlic and parsley, passed through flour and golden. Noodles and round rice are cooked in the broth obtained from the boiling of all these ingredients, which are served apart from the rest of ingredients so that everyone can add whatever they want to their plate.
Another essential dish on the Catalan tables during Christmas is the galets soup (“sopa de galets” in Catalan). This starter consists of a soup that is prepared with the same broth as the escudella and the galets, a snail-shaped pasta. Although there are galets of different sizes, at Christmas it is typical to use galets of the size of a soup spoon, which are large enough to be able to fill with the meat of the pilota.
Like many of the traditional recipes that are made during this time of year, in each house the recipes are made in a different way.
The cannelloni (called “canelons” in Catalan) that are made in Catalonia during these dates are much more special than those eaten during the rest of the year, since their filling is made with the remaining meat from Christmas meals.
It is true that the traditional recipe for cannelloni is of Italian origin, but they have become a dish that cannot be missed on Catalan tables the day after Christmas, coinciding with the festivity of Sant Esteve.
After a plate of escudella i carn d’olla or galets soup, you can never miss a good Christmas roast (or “rostit de Nadal”, as they say in Catalonia). It can be made in many ways, you can even use different meats such as chicken or duck, but alcohol (stale wine or brandy), dried fruit and nuts cannot be missing.
Despite being a less popular dish than those mentioned above, the Christmas roast is a real must in the Catalans’ kitchens during this time of year.
Fish suquet (“suquet de peix” in Catalan) is a traditional seafood stew that is eaten throughout the year in Catalonia, but also at Christmas. It is made with potatoes, red prawns, crayfish and crab, which are mixed with a tomato sauce to achieve more flavor and intensity.
It is a rather light meal, which was originally a simple and humble dish made with marine products that the fishermen could not sell. Currently, the ingredients used to prepare it are quite expensive, especially during Christmas.
We will agree that Christmas would not be the same without sweets. After the copious Christmas meals, the Catalans always keep a space for desserts.
Nougat (or “turró” in Catalan) is one of the most traditional Christmas sweets, not only in Catalonia, but also in the rest of Spain. They are generally made of almond or hazelnut, honey and egg, although today there are many other flavors such as lemon, coffee or pistachio.
One of the most recognized localities for its artisan industry focused on the production of nougat is Agramunt, in the province of Lleida. The nougat made in this municipality, strong and at the same time very light, has a protected geographical indication.
Neules are another of the typical desserts for Christmas after-dinner meals. They have a very similar shape to the barquillos that are eaten in Spain, elongated in the shape of a tube, but they have a slightly different texture and flavor. Its dough is made with egg, flour, sugar and butter and the result is a very crunchy and sweet dessert.
Although the most common thing during Christmas meals is to eat them alone, they can also be used as an accompaniment to sorbets or the traditional Catalan cream.
Three King’s cake
The Three King’s cake (in Catalan “tortell de Reis”) is a ring-shaped cake that is eaten on January 6 after lunch. It is made of puff pastry, filled with ingredients such as marzipan, cream, jam or angel hair and has candied fruit on top.
Inside, it hides two surprises: a small ceramic or plastic figurine that represents one of the three kings and a bean. Whoever finds the figurine is crowned with the golden cardboard crown that decorates the center of the cake, while whoever finds the bean is the one who must pay for the Three King’s cake.
Rosamar Hotels wishes you happy holidays!