Christmas Eve is when Spaniards really celebrate the holiday. A table laden with wonderful food, plenty of wine and surrounded by loved ones is a very important part of the festivities. In Spain, the feast usually begins at 10:00 p.m. with delicious appetizers such as Jamon Serrano, croquettes, special cheeses, pate, bread and sometimes a seafood dish, like a soup. Fresh shellfish plays a very important part and prawns, crab, clams and lobster usually star alongside grilled octopus, dorada and a roasted turkey, ham, chicken, lamb or suckling pig for the main courses. All of this fine fare is enjoyed with copious cups of wine and / or cava.
Desert is what many people wait for with great excitement, with one of the most popular being turrón – a lovely confection of honey, sugar, egg whites, toasted almonds
or other nuts; peladillas – candied almonds, cordiales – a cakey / cookie / wafer made of ground almonds, pumpkin, sugar, egg and grated lemon peel; crumbly polvorones – a dense and soft shortbread made from flour, sugar, milk, and nuts; and creamy almond
As you can see, the Christmas Eve repast is not light on the tummy, but it can lighten
spirits and fill the soul with warmth.