Cookaway’s very own Claire Hutchings is back to tell us all about her favourite Spanish Christmas food, from Roscon de Reyes to Torrijas. Having lived and worked in Spain for many years, Claire shares the traditional foods that are vital to any Spanish Christmas spread, and how you can enjoy them from the comfort of your own home.
The best traditional Spanish Christmas foods are the simplest. I love cooking Christmas treats at this time of the year. Usually, I start my Christmas cake in November to give it a good month or more to be fed and mature. I really love Christmas traditions, and for me there’s nothing better than a homemade traditional mince pie with brandy cream!
Traditional christmas foods
For me, it’s very important to use suet and make your own lard for the pastry. I also think it’s fundamental to make your own candied fruits. I really cannot say enough how different and delicious these are compared to a shop bought mince pies, or even shop bought mincemeat! It is well worth the time and effort.Roscon de Reyes, also known as Epiphany cake, is a traditional Spanish dessert used to celebrate El Día de Los Reyes, or Three Kings Day, on the 6th of January. Roscon de Reyes is a sweet, oval shaped bread that is topped with dried dates and candied fruit – the cake often has a small toy hidden inside, bringing luck in the coming year to whoever is first to find it.
As I live in Spain and spend most of my Christmases here, I submerge myself into Spanish Christmas traditions. We have our main feast on Christmas Eve and celebrations typically start with freshly sliced Iberian ham, carved straight off the bone. Iberian ham, also called Pata negre, is a delicacy here in Spain. Cuts of this premium meat are great for gift hampers or stocking fillers at Christmas, perfect for those that may like a taste of the Spanish lifestyle.
A Spanish Christmas is also not complete without Seafood! I have memories of piles of sweet langoustines, prawns and crab being served and eaten very simply with lemon. They’re so good, they really need nothing more! This would then be followed by a whole roast suckling pig (cochinillo) served on a bed of onions and potatoes.
Then dessert would be Torrijas which is caramelised bread almost like a caramelised French toast. The bread is soaked in infused milk and then fried and rolled in sugar and served with a cinnamon infused custard. It’s so delicious, I feel I should share my Torrijas recipe – it always goes down a treat!
If you haven’t seen it already – don’t miss my mulled wine recipe, to help wash down all this delicious Spanish Christmas food. This Spanish Christmas drink is like a hot and spicy sangria. It’s so easy to make, and it’s a real crowd pleaser!
I hope that’s inspired you to try something new this festive season. Whether it’s a delicious Roscon de Reyes, a sweet Torrijas or a nutty slice of Iberian ham – Spanish Christmas food is full of flavour.
Wishing you and your family all the very best this Christmas time.
Love, Claire x