Saturday, December 25, 2010
Eating at Christmas
Coming up to Christmas an easy topic is holiday traditions in Spain and the UK. Whilst it's not true that "everyone" in the UK eats turkey on Christmas day it is as true as saying that there are no longer pea soupers in London and that we Brits don't all stop for afternoon tea (still firm beliefs for most Spaniards.)
"On Christmas Day we will have roast turkey, carrots, sprouts and various forms of potatoes followed by Christmas pudding - what will you eat?" The Spanish answer is that there is no answer. If there is any sort of routine it seems to be that the starters will be lots of small dishes and nearly everyone seemed to include gambas or langostinas in their list of starters - what I'd call prawns - unshelled and dead tasty. The queues around the fish counters in every supermarket we've been in over the past week add circumstantial weight. Main courses were as varied as traditional food gets in most Spanish houses - fish is big, roast lamb turned up a lot and various forms of paella were strong runners too. Puddings seem to come with the guests as their contribution.
Oh, and it's Christmas Eve and Christmas Day when the families come round with the same alternating year pattern of in laws for one of the dates and your family for the other much as we do with the 25th and 26th.
Nobody but nobody mentioned popping out for a curry though one of my students said that as there would be forty of them this year they had booked the meal at a restaurant to save on washing up.