As we all know the food is very important in Catalunya and also very delicious. Christmas is no exception, but instead of eating the Christmas dinner on the 24th of December Catalans eat it on 25th of December during the day.
One of the traditional Catalan Christmas food is Escudella I carn d’olla. A special slowly cooked meat and vegetable stew. One can practically say it is two dishes in one as it is often served in two parts.
Escudella I carn d’olla is a stew or more or less like a soup that consist of a lot of different vegetables like beans, chicken peas, garlic, carrot, celery, cabbage etc, the meat part often consist of different animals. Every animal represents a saint, pork for Saint Anthony, lamb for Saint John, beef for Saint Luke and chicken for Saint Peter. La pilota, a big meatball or several small ones, are also put in the stew.
When the stew is finished cooking the meats, vegetables and everything else are removed from the pot just leaving the spiced meat-vegetable stock left and big shell look-a-like pasta, Galets, are put in the meat-vegetable stock. When the galets are finished cooking it is served as a first course.
The meat and vegetables which has been removed earlier from the stew is kept warm and served on a platter as the main course.
This is the core of the Catalan Christmas dinner, other dishes served during the dinners can be grilled prawns, stuffed turkey and of course turrons and other sweets for desserts.
The Christmas turkey is also a traditional dish during the Catalan Christmas time. The stuffing can varies from family to family but often consist of dried fruit, pine nuts and butifarra, a spiced prok sausage.
The Christmas dishes can varies a lot from region and family in Catalunya but it often consist of Escudella I carn d’olla, Turkey and some smaller dishes like grilled prawn and other tapas-like dishes. For desserts one can often find Turrons and other sweets desserts.
On the 26th of December you might get served Canelones, rolled and filled pasta tubes covered with sauce. Canelones are often filled with meat “leftovers” from the turkey and escudella I carn d’olla the 25th.
The Christmas dinners in Catalunya is a spectacular event and can go on for hours as the family eat and enjoy each other’s company over different sizes of dishes.