15 nov 2018

Where to get Thanksgiving fixings in Madrid

It’s almost Thanksgiving, or should I say, el día de acción de gracias? For the Americans out there, this is understandably a hard time to be away from home. Ah, Thanksgiving. Family gatherings, grandma’s homemade pies, football games on the television, the Macy’s parade, and a viewing of It’s a Wonderful Life, The Wizard of Oz, or, my all time favorite holiday movie, A Christmas Story. And, the best thing about Thanksgiving, the FOOD!

Looking for a piece of home? Here are some tips on how you can make your own Thanksgiving here in Madrid.

Pumpkin and other yumminess – There are two American stores in Madrid. One is appropriately called the American Store. The other is Taste of America. I took a little trip over to Taste of America yesterday to see what this place is all about.

You can get many essential Thanksgiving ingredients here, including brown sugar and canned pumpkin. Don’t be fooled by the two cans of pumpkin here in this image – there were boxes of canned pumpkin just waiting to be stocked. They have marshmallows for candied yams, should you want to show your new European friends just how versatile marshmallows can be. And, although not necessary for Thanksgiving, if anyone is craving SPAM (does anyone really eat SPAM?), cheddar cheese in a bottle, or Jim Beam wing sauce, rest assured you can buy these at Taste of America as well, along with enough Duncan Hines to rot your teeth right out of your mouth. Although the size of a 7/11 (a teeny 7/11), it carries some much needed American products for this time of year. There is some sticker shock (6 Euro for a box of cake mix?), but sometimes it’s just worth it.

Veggies and Sides – Your local grocer should carry most of what you need. The Mercado de Ventas has actual corn on the cob, along with pretty much every other vegetable you could ever want.

Basic vocab list for the market: sweet potatoes (batatas), green beans (judías verdes), corn (maíz), pumpkin (calabaza), potatoes (patatas), onion (cebolla).

Turkey – the staple of Thanksgiving. We are surrounded by meat in Spain, yet somehow turkey always seems to be left out. Rest assured, there are bird options here in Madrid. You can order a turkey from a pollería, or you can buy one at a market, like the Mercado de Ventas. I was there earlier this week and at the sight of me the men behind the meat counter started shouting about my upcoming fiesta, and how I should buy a pavo from them. There were a bunch of turkeys right there, ready to go.

Measuring – Avoid measuring disasters by converting to metric correctly.

Happy cooking and happy Thanksgiving!

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