Traditional Foods of Holy Week in Spain

Written by marie modotti
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Traditional Foods of Holy Week in Spain
A Holy Week procession (cruz en el hombro image by Pablo Armelles from Fotolia.com)

Holy Week in Spain, is one of the country's largest festivities. Spain's Holy Week is celebrated the week before the Catholic holiday of Easter. As a Catholic nation, most Spaniards observe Holy Week, which marks the end of Lent. Spain has traditional foods eaten during Holy Week that reflect religious and cultural traditions.

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Origins

Holy Week is the week leading up to Easter, which Catholics remember as the last week in the life of Jesus, according to the BBC Religion page. The week spans from Holy Monday until Holy Saturday, ending with Easter Sunday.

In Spain, the week is observed with a series of marches and processions, especially in Southern Spain's Andalucian region. Christianity was introduced into Spain in 100 A.D. and, according to the book "Food Culture in Spain" by F. Xavier Medina, the religion has shaped the nation's cuisine.

Lent

Lent in Spain has its special cuisine. According to religious traditions, Catholics should abstain from eating meat during Lent, especially during Holy Week, says the website andalucia.com. However, even the meatless dishes will make your mouth water.

Fish Stews

Since meat is typically prohibited, many of the dishes served during Holy Week are made with fish. Many restaurant daily specials will feature fish and vegetables, according to the website andalucia.com. One typical dish is made with chickpeas, spinach and cod. Some recipes leave out the cod to make a completely vegetarian dish. This dish also features plenty of garlic sautéed in olive oil along with leeks. Soaked and boiled chickpeas are then added. Finally, soaked salt cod and chopped spinach are added to make a flavourful stew, according to the website Typicallyspanish.com.

Traditional Foods of Holy Week in Spain
Salt cod (Cioppino image by Karin Lau from Fotolia.com)

Garlic soup

Another prominent dish during Holy Week is a soup made from garlic, according to "Food Culture in Spain." The soup is made from garlic, oil, bread, water and eggs. Typically served in Northern Spain in earthenware bowls, this soup will warm your soul and spirit.

Traditional Foods of Holy Week in Spain
Soup (the soup image by Ilja Ma...¡Ã­k from Fotolia.com)

Deserts

During Holy Week a number of mouth-watering desserts are served. Arroz con leche, or rice pudding, is typically served during Holy Week. Most bakeries during Holy Week make a favourite traditional food, torrijas, according to the website andalucia.com. Torrijas is similar to French toast. Stale bread is soaked in milk and then dipped into eggs. They are pan-fried in butter on both sides and then topped with cinnamon, sugar and honey, according to Typicallyspanish.com.

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