¨It´s beginning to look a lot like Christmaaassss.¨
Actually, in 12 degree weather (60 degrees F) it´s not and it´s making me feel a little bah hum bug (obviously read in a Scrooge voice). Even though it´s sunny and I live right by the beach that hasn´t stopped me from decorating my apartment to get me ready for this years´ holiday season. I did plenty of DIY projects, bought festive lights, and picked up a ridiculous amount of candles to cozy up my home. In addition to getting my apartment ready for the season I also bought some Spanish holiday treats to stuff my face with. I mean it´s the holidays..I´m supposed to eat as much chocolate and pastries as I want right??
Well without further ado I´ll introduce you to some of the typical holiday goodies you´ll find here on the Spanish side of the Iberian Peninsula.
Maybe it´s the most popular treat during this time of year because I don´t typically see it any other time of year. It comes in a few different varieties like chocolate with crunchy rice bits, almond, and nougat which is softened by olive oil. Turrón originates from when the Moors dominated Spain and you can find it every town. I actually just tried this yesterday and it´s pretty decent. I tried the chocolate one and it tasted like…..well a peice of chocolate.
These are crunchy peices of sweet dough that have been fried and seasoned with either sesame seeds or anis seed and dusted with honey and/or cinnamon sugar. Literally the smell and slighest taste of anis makes me want to barf so I don´t know if I am going to be able to try them but at least they look good! Pestiños are another treat that originates from Andalucia.
This one I am soooo excited for! I love polvorones. They are little shortbread cookies that don´t have anis in them. Haha I told you I have a serious problem. Polvorones are made with flour, milk, sugar, and nuts and sometimes flavors like cinnamon, vanilla, or lemon are added. Polvorones are simillar to Mexican wedding cake cookies which I gre up with so I am obsessed with these. They orignate from ….Andalucia and you can find them in Mercadona everywhere!!
Yet another Andalucian treat here we have mantecados. These are very simmilar to polvorones but are traditionally made with lard, sugar and almonds. You can also find these in supermarkets such as Mercadona for a really good price!
I fell in love with Marzipan when I went to Toledo last September. I think you can find them all year round but they are another popluar treat during Christmas time. Marzipan is usually made with egg yolks, sugar, and almonds then shaped into many different forms like fruit or figurines.
Roscos de Vino
A mix of cookies and wine!?! Why isn´t this a more frequent thing. These ring shaped cookies are flavored with cinnamon and almond with a hint of sweet wine. Then they are finished with either powdered sugar or white chocolate.
Roscón de Reyes
Here in Spain the holiday season doesn´t end on the 25th of December. It ends on the 6th of January with Kings´ Day. Now, even after living here for a little over a year I don´t reeeeally know what exactly is celebrated on this day but I do know that they eat this type of cake and there´s a fun game behind it. So basically it´s a ring shaped cake with fruit on top and cream in the middle. The baker stuffs a figure of Jesus and a fava bean in the cake before it´s baked so that there is a suprise waiting inside. Whoever finds the figure is crowned the king or queen while the person who gets the bean has to buy the cake for the next year. That is super cool to me since we don´t have anything like that back home so maybe I´ll introduce something like that for holidays with my family and friends in Minnesota!
If you are living in the states and you want to get your hands on some of these Spanish holiday treats you can go to La Tienda and get some shipped to your home! Meanwhile I´ll be stuffing my face before the New Year.
Enjoy and Feliz Navidad!