Spain’s gastronomic wealth reaches its peak at Christmas. It is a time of parties and celebrations, and also great meals with, of course, typical Christmas sweets. They are exquisite and traditional recipes, many of which have centuries of history, something that should not be missed at this time of year. Forget about the scale and sink your teeth into each of them!
Turrón (nougat) is, undoubtedly, one of the protagonists par excellence of the Christmas tables. An artisan product, with a marked national stamp and that, over the years, has managed to maintain a healthy balance between tradition and avant-garde. The typical sweet par excellence on these dates is made mainly with honey, sugar, egg white and almonds. Currently, we can find dozens of varieties, from truffle or coconut, through pistachios or chocolate with nuts. A host of varieties and modifications that make this exquisiteness of confectionery be present at Christmas in virtually every Spanish home regardless of whether we are in Murcia, Gijón, Cuenca or Reus.
Almonds and sugar crushed with a mallet gave rise to “mallet bread”. Although in Toledo it is eaten throughout the year, marzipan is another symbol of Christmas gastronomy. The first written reference of it goes back to 1577 and it is believed that its origin is Arabic. It also has different variations depending on where it is consumed; it even has its own versions outside Spanish borders.
If we gather flour, lard and sugar in a hot oven, we will get some delicious polvorones. It is a dessert that, once it gets into your mouth and you begin to eat it, it completely dissolves into dust.
4. Roscón de Reyes
This sweet dough bun decorated with slices of candied fruit is one of the most requested Christmas sweets. It is difficult to find a house in Spain where there is no roscón for breakfast or a snack on The Three Wise Men’s Day. Usually filled with whipped cream or custard, and increasingly, chocolate, truffle or mocha. Inside it is easy to find by surprise small figures, coins or notes, or the traditional broad bean, a sign that you will have to pay for it. Its origin is related to the Roman Saturnalia or “slave parties” in which folk celebrated the end of farm work with round cakes that hid a dry bean.