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Salsa, bescuit and nougat: the Three Kings of the Ibizan Christmas

Celebrating Christmas on Ibiza means sitting at the table with the family and enjoying authentic delicacies.

Celebrating Christmas on Ibiza means sitting at the table with the family and enjoying authentic delicacies. Over the years, each family on Ibiza has prepared their own menu for Christmas Day, which is generally repeated year after year and passed on from generation to generation: Christmas soup, suckling pig, lamb, cannelloni… there are countless options and they are all delicious. However, there is one thing every household has in common: dessert. There is always a typical dish that each family prepares in their own way: Salsa de Nadal (Christmas Sauce), a kind of sweet soup that is eaten accompanied by a good bescuit.

The essential ingredients of the sauce will undoubtedly be surprising for those who have never tried it before: almond kneaded with eggs, chicken and lamb broth, sugar, saffron, salt, pepper and patience, a lot of patience, as the original recipe involves dedicating several hours to this dish, mixing it over a low heat with a wooden spoon.

Bescuit is the traditional dessert that accompanies this sauce, consisting of a very delicate dough with a particularly soft and spongy texture. It contains sugar, egg, flour, aniseed, yeast, butter and milk, and although it seems to be a simple recipe at first sight, only practice and family secrets manage to turn it into a tender and delicious sponge cake.

And, in the most rural part of the southwest of the island and to the surprise of many Ibizans, it is quite typical to make homemade nougat in some houses. Each family prepares its own recipe: with frosted fruit, quince jelly… but always based on grated raw almonds, sugar, eggs, lemon zest and powdered cinnamon.

So now you know; if you’re lucky enough to spend Christmas on Ibiza, and you are offered any of the desserts described in this article at a restaurant, you can feel like authentic islanders savouring these unique and exquisite sweetmeats!