Friday, January 15, 2010
They do Christmas....twice!
Spain spreads the Christmas celebrations over two different days. The usual 25th of December and what they call Reyes (Kings) which is on the 5/6th january. Kids get presents on BOTH days. (doesn't that concept just make your wallet shiver?) I caught the night celebrations of Reyes on 5th and it consisted of floats depicting the Kings and Nativity figures being paraded through the centre of town with the usual marching bands an d fireworks. many of the floats had loads of kids on them in costumes and they would throw handfulls of sweets to the packed crowds in the streets. It was a great family event.
The traditional cake of Reyes is the 'roscon' a flat, oval shaped cake made of a sort of heavy brioche which is stuffed with a sweet preserve made from a spaghetti squash and decorated with candied fruit. It is very sweet and fragrant, with slightly middle eastern notes....a bit rose water-ish, a bit quince-ish. Nothing close to the cinnamon/clove flavours of England. It's actually quite delicious and I find more appealing than UK Christmas cake. Inside are hidden a dried broadbean and a toy king, with the usual promises of fortune and luck to those who find them. Of course you risk breaking a tooth or choking to death in your quest,,,,,but then most people readily accept stress, depression, addiction, duplicity, lying, cheating, back-stabbing, heart disease, eating disorders and divorce in their quest for fortune so what the hell............