It’s hard to resist a recipe with such a saucy sounding name! If it conjured up visions of gypsy dancers with flashing eyes you wouldn’t be far wrong, because zarzuela (sar-soo-EH-lah) means operetta or variety show in Catalan.

A popular and much loved Catalan Christmas figure, this small statue, originally of a pooping peasant wearing traditional floppy red Catalan cap (barretina), crouches with trousers half down, in a ‘toilet’ position, making his small contribution to the land. He might be smoking a pipe or reading a newspaper to better pass the time!

The pretty little village of Formigueres, historic Capital of the Capcir, lies in the heart of the Parc Naturel, Five kms north of Les Angles on the D118.

These pooey Catalan traditions may shed some light on the popular Catalan saying
“menja bé, caga fort i no tinguis por a la mort!” (Eat well, poo strong and don’t be afraid of death!)  

Useful vocabulary to help you through the festive period
Christmas……..
…………. card – une carte de Noël
…………. day – le jour de Noël
…………. dinner – le Réveillon
…………. tree – le sapin

Les Restos du Coeur is a French charitable association which provides food packages and free meals to the poor and homeless, organised and served up by 45 000 volunteers around France.

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