Here is a typical meal in Spain
First course: Sopa de Galets (Soup)
Cooking the broth for this soup requires five or six hours the previous day.
Second first course: Canelons
This is the thing that you always say “Well, one more can’t hurt”. But it’s a trap when you realise you’ve eaten six of these.
Second course: Capó farcit (Stuffed chicken with meat, nuts, fruit…)
A wonderful romesco, a sauce with red bell peppers, tomato, hazelnuts, garlic and onions slowly roasted.
Some people instead of the capó prefer roasted lamb or zarzuela, a dish of seafood and tomato.
- Codonyat, a confiture made with quince and sugar. It’s delicious with cheese.
- Crema Catalana: a dessert similar to Crème brûlée
- Torrons: a confection made of honey, sugar, almonds and egg whites
And for the final toast, Cava (our champagne) and Neules, a thin layer of flour, sugar and eggs rolled and roasted.
The trick is that they make them with chocolate too. They are addictive.
one typical meal in Germany. There are several, depending on region and tradition.
Goose is a Christmas Eve dinner, which is eaten before the Bescherung (giving and receiving of presents). It takes a lot of preparation and hours of waiting for the goose to happen.
The dessert is always different: pudding, ice cream, small cakes, not so small cakes. Germany starts eating the Christmas dinner way before the actual day.
Christmas in Sweden works as a cultural refuge. That is: What was once common is preserved as special for Christmas. That goes for the name as well.
Julegris (Christmas pig)
Sweden used to be a poor country with a hard climate not suited for agriculture. People mostly ate porridge, bread and fish. If there was a party they would slaughter a pig.
If you were lucky, you had a pig to slaughter at Christmas. Then everything from the pig was to be processed. On Christmas, you are served a smorgasbord (called julbord) with everything you had produced from your pig. Christmas was celebrated for at least 14 days. Sometimes 20 days. You spend those days with eating julbord at different families.
A proper julbord should include all dishes that people use to do from a Julegris in premodern Sweden and some compulsory fish preserves:
- marinated salmon
- pickled herring
- smoked salmon
And then add some more meat. Just so that it does not look to poor (it is Christmas, come on):
- Smoked reindeer
- Egg decorated with caviar (preferred from Kalix)
That would be all for a julbord. Wait! There should be some vegetables. Let’s add:
- Red cabbage or kale
- Some salad with beetroot
- boiled potatoes
A special Christmas soda: Julmust! It is compulsory to like it and drink it all through the season: 4 weeks before Christmas and 13–20 days after. Never drink it out of scope. That would be beyond the pale, uncivilised, uncultivated.
- Normally you start with some appetizer, with various affettati, mascarpone, patè and other assorted foods
- For the first course, rigorously lasagna
- For the second course, roast beef with potatoes
- Fruit and for dessert two staples: tiramisù and panettone
So, what do you eat for Christmas? Do share it in the comments section below.
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