What Catalans Are Eating This Christmas In Barcelona

Giant galets on the streets of Barcelona, Spain — Nancy dives in!

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By Nancy Todd                    Comments by Negu, The Blogdog

Pig’s ears?  Pig’s tails?  I never thought those would touch my mouth, but when you move to a foreign country, you do things you never thought you would do.  Pig parts are some of the ingredients found in Sopa de Galets, Soup of Shells, Barcelona food commonly eaten in Catalonia on Christmas Day.

Galets are pasta shells and most cooks favor the big, fat shells that cook up to the size of a large tree ornament. Galets are so popular, that Barcelona has huge plastic “sculptures” of shells plunked around the city streets for holiday decorations.  Lit at night, you find children crawling and giggling in them.

barcelona food for christmas

Barcelona Food – Galets

In asking over a dozen people, no one had a recipe nor knew the symbolism.  A bit of lamb, some potatoes, a bone of this, a sprinkle of that, etc.  The recipes have been passed down for generations from grandmothers to granddaughters.  Everyone has a variation.  Here is the basic recipe.

Sopa de Galets

In a really big pot, boil for a few hours hunks of lamb, chicken, a pig’s ear, pig’s feet, a pig’s tail, meat.  Maybe some sausage.


Add vegetables to the broth, whatever is in season: cauliflower, potatoes, onion, zucchini.

At the end add, big, fat, pasta shells.

The Blogdog


Negu, The Blogdog:

 ‘OMG, darling, I love this soup.  Any day I get to munch on a pig’s ear, I am One. Happy. Dog.’


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