27 November 2013

Five things to buy a Spaniard for Christmas

1. Turrón
The mince pie equivalent of Spain is turrón. We might call it nougat (which ever way you wish to pronounce that), but there are so many versions one word doesn't suffice. Every Spaniard loves a bit of turrón. At Christmas shops throughout the country are swamped with it in all its varieties - chocolate (like Nutella with Rice Krispies), a hard jaw-breaking version with peanuts, soft like marzipan and everything in between. If in doubt, give turrón.


2. Posh wine
As an average red is part and parcel of most lunches in Spain, when it comes to a special occasion like Christmas you definitely need to up the ante and give a posher bottle as a present. Go on, spend more than 1.69. Hideously wrapped in cellophane is an option, but it must have flimsy wiring around it, as a minimum requirement to give that special touch.

3. Polvorones and mantecados
They look a bit retro in their greaseproof wrappers, but these little cakes are a vegetarian's worse nightmare. Trying to lure you in with promises of cinnamon and a hint of lemon, these traditional Christmas delicacies are in fact flavoured lard-filled pastry. Spaniards love them.

4. Chocolate con churros
A year-round calorie bomb but especially loved during the "cold" winter months is a cup of hot chocolate so thick you can stand your spoon up in it served with deep-fried extruded doughnut batter. Obviously, you dip your greasy churro into the chocolate first. Some people love it. I can imagine it's good for hangovers and for those who are too lazy to make a batch of batter, Mercadona supermarket now sells churros batter in a spray can. Class! While they're frying nicely you can open a tetra pak of thick chocolate as well.

5. Money
Let's face it, it's what most people want. Maybe not the cheap chocolate variety.

.... and some unashamed self-promotion.... you could give your Spanish friends one of my curiousmap prints!

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