Christmas food Spain

If you are asking for a simple reply to that question, the answer is lots, we eat lots, but what do Spanish people eat at Christmas?

If there is anything Spanish people do not generally need, it’s an excuse to eat even more than usual. And anyway, here we are, rapidly approaching Christmas – the ultimate excuse to indulge yourself.

However, unlike many other places in the world where everyone eats exactly the same – a big fat turkey, in Spain, the menu varies a lot between regions and even families.

What do Spanish people eat at Christmas? The most popular Christmas specials in Spain.

Christmas nibbles in Spain: A Serrano ham leg

A serrano ham leg is the ultimate Christmas decoration in any Spanish household that can afford it. The rule is simple: the nicer the better, but with ham legs costing anything from 50 to 600 € this can get very tricky.

Christmas food Spain
What do Spanish people eat at Christmas? / Instagram @munoz_rojo

While Spaniards eat serrano ham all year long, it is only during festive occasions or celebrations they purchase a whole leg.

Christmas is, without doubt, a great time for a treat, but it also makes it more likely that you’ll finish the ham with extended family coming over for meals.

This is the most popular appetiser for any Christmas dinner, and you will often find a plate with serrano ham ready to nibble in every house you visit.

The most popular Christmas starter in Spain: Seafood

Seafood fever approaches Spain in the few weeks leading up to Christmas, with a special appetite for red prawns, langoustines, crawfish and spider crabs.

As you get closer to Christmas the prices per kilo start growing quicker than flights prices in summer.

What do Spanish people eat at Christmas?
What do Spanish people eat at Christmas? / Chantal Lim / Unsplash /

This indulgent and festive starter will cost you a small fortune. The closer you get to Christmas Day, the more expensive the prize per kilo gets.

The recipes of choice can be as simple as grilled red prawns or boiled crab, but can also be a bit more elaborate, for example a prawn cocktail.

An optional starter Spanish people eat at Christmas: Fish soup

One of the most popular choices for the starter is to opt for a fish and seafood based soup. Warm and rich to warm yourself up, but not too filling as you will have a main dish coming later.

What do Spanish people eat at Christmas?
What do Spanish people eat at Christmas? / Klara Kulikova / Unsplash /

This soup is generally slow-cooked with fish, prawns, clams and various vegetables. and, while very tasty, it is not heavy and normally has no noodles in it.

And finally: Here comes the meat

The main of choice in most households in Spain is something meaty, juicy and outside of the usual list of things you will cook on a weekly bases.

The main meal might however vary a lot between regions or even households, and every family has their own favourites.

Some of the most popular options are slow-roasted lamb, sucking piglet, or suckling lamb ribs.

What do Spanish people eat at Christmas?
What do Spanish people eat at Christmas? / Iman Zaker / Unsplash /

It goes without saying that the feast will be washed down with Spanish white wines to go with the fish and seafood and the finest reds to go with the meats.

Every Christmas meal will also be finished with a glass of bubbles to toast with. This will either be done with cava, a local bubbly white wine originally from Cataluña, or Sidra el Gaitero, a sweet apple cider from Asturias.

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