Repas de Noël

The Christmas meal begins with escudella and carn d'olla . It is a typical Catalán Christmas dish. It is a slow cooked one-pot stew,  full of meat, vegetables and the traditional Christmas noodles Galets de Nadal, a very big, nicely shaped type of pasta.

Cataláns normally put various meats in the Escudella de carn d’olla: chicken (for Saint Peter), beef (for Saint Luke), lamb (for Saint John) and with pork (for Saint Anthony), along with a large pilota (meatball). Besides this selection of meat they put a huge amount of vegetables into the pot including cabbage, potatoes,  carrot, onion, leek, celery and chickpeas.

If it’s ready it can be served altogether as a meaty soup for Catalán Christmas dinner, or separately – they remove and keep warm the vegetables and  the meat as second plate, and eat the rest as a soup with noodles for the first course!

So this is the most typical traditional Catalán Christmas dinner, but other popular dishes are grilled prawns and stuffed turkey as part of the Christmas dinner in Barcelona.

The cannelloni are also a tradition the 26th of December.Their popularity soon spread and they begin to take on a distinctly Catalan flavour.The pasta is allowed to get much softer than the Italian version and the sauce is bechamel rather than cheese sauce. The filling is made of ground meat that has previously been cooked rather than mince or sausage meat and tomato is never added.

Although Canelons are eaten all year round, this makes them perfect for Boxing Day as the Carn d'Olla from the previous day can be ground up and used as a filling.

Turrón   .This traditional Spanish sweet is a type of nougat in a shaped like a tablet, made of honey, sugar, egg white and a variety of nuts, especially almonds.

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