Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas Treats in Spain

Jamon Iberico (Spanish cured ham)

Suckling Pig (baby pig)

Jenny has never spent Christmas with us here in Tenerife before, as she has been at college and this is the first time she has been able to spend Christmas break with us. Today we went grocery shopping because she want to do a lot of cooking over the holidays, I suppose to impress her boyfriend who is coming Christmas Eve. Jenny and the girls had a lot of fun browsing through the meat department, checking out the Christmas specialties here. I thought I would post a few of the Spanish Christmas favorites. The girls want to "welcome" Michael to Spain by making him try all of their culinary delicacies.

Some people might be sickened by the images of a baby pig, as the thought of seeing an entire animal on a plate might turn off your appetite. I am assured that these baby pigs are absolutely delicious if you can get past the psychological aspects of what you are eating.
One of the most famous foods here in Spain is Jamon Iberico, or Spanish ham. If you go into the grocery store, you will see (and smell) them hanging. The most expensive hams are a special breed of pigs (black pigs), and are fed a special diet of acorns, and grain. They are salt cured for up to two years. The most expensive ones can cost hundreds or up to a couple thousand dollars.

Rebekah and Leanna always enjoy making a trip to the seafood department to see the octopus, large fish, and lobsters. Seafood is also an important part of the Christmas Eve meal, which is the largest meal here in Spain.
So, what are we having for Christmas dinner? I decided to try the pata de cerdo asado, which is roasted leg of pork. Jenny wants to try and make a Spanish tortilla, which is kind of like a potato, onion, and egg omelette made in a skillet. That is about as adventurous as we get!

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