a belated Feliz Navidad and a Provencal-Andalusian 13 desserts tradition

oh dear....I knew I could never make it and post last wednesday. It all went in a flash really....I mean the hours and the....13 desserts I prepared for Chrimast's eve ! so very peevishly, I present you what is left of them...It is actually the first time that I celebrate this tradition here in Andalusia. My sisters and I were born and raised in Provence and the 13 desserts were a much loved tradition. My elder sister who lives in France still follows it every year and always double-checks the count is right, otherwise she says, it won't be a good year. In the Christian tradition, the 13 desserts symbolize Jesus and his apostles. It also has a pagan meaning of rebirth. In Provence, they usually consist of : dried figs, almonds, nuts, walnuts, raisins, dattes, oranges or clementines, nougat (black and white), candied and fresh fruit and a special cake made with olive oil.

I deviated a bit to make it more Andalusian

almonds, raisins, walnuts, dattes, candied pear, a very hard turron (impossible to eat)

pomegranate because after all, it's our star fruit here, white grapes

dried figs from the Alpujarras, clementines from the valley, bugnes (a French specialty from the south of France which is also one the 13 desserts in some parts of France)

dried apricots
roscos de anis (a typical Andalusian pastry at Christmas) and polvoron (another typical Christmas sweet). These two counted as one, otherwise we had 14 desserts and I don't want to have a bad year !

Wish you a merry week end !

ps : this is the best Christmas tale I heard yesterday while listening to FIP radio : a man earned 8 millions euros at the Christmas lottery (can't remember if it was in the North of France or Belgium) and gave half of it to needy people in his village. Love it !


I like your 13 dessert tradition. I've been over-dosing on pomegranates this year...mmmmm.

The Christmas tale of giving is wonderful.
Oooooh. Yum. What a fascinating tradition! Feliz Navidad, also!
tangobaby said…
How completely deliciously lovely! Now that is a tradition that I could enjoy very very much. I would have to start with the treats in the last photo and then work my way up.

Enjoy your weekend, cherie!
Edi Style said…
Lala, Huge Hugs to you both. Merry Christmas beautiful!!!
kendalee said…
Oooh how delicious! This is a tradition I could happily adopt. Hope you're having a lovely post Christmas holiday... :o)
Yoli said…
Lalita que rico!!!! Me as dado tanta hambre! Que delicias!
~^~ kAizEn ~^~ said…
so delicious!!
some of your dessert can be found in cairo!! i mean in the middle east..but i'm malaysian! have a nice ' merry christmas celebration! '
I wish you a Merry Christmas/I wish you a Merry Christmas/I wish you a Merry Christmas/and a Happy New Year :-)

What a lovely tradition.

Greetings from London.
DrDave said…
Hi, Lala... are you really in Spain? I'm in Tucson, Arizona, the Sonoran Desert. We have a blend of Spanish, Mexican, and Native American Cultures here.

I spent some time in Spain, and speak several languages... it seems to me as if Catalan and Provencal French are very similar.

Dr Dave
Cynthia said…
Gorgeous display! I wondered how you could make thirteen desserts; I'm so glad you can include special fruit. It reminds us that nature offers treats ready-made---and they are still special! What a peppy tone you set with your "My castle in Spain" blog, Lala.
ARJUN MS said…
13 desserts sounds great!
the desserts are all colorful and must be tasty also.
your Christmas tale is the wonderful tale of the year.
Dakota Bear said…
What a wonderful tradition. It laa looked very delicious.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Gabbi said…
your deserts look scrumptious! :) i would love some turron, polvorons, white grapes and pomegranate now...
Esti said…
Feliz navidad!!
Those desserts look fabulous!
Indyeah said…
Thank u so much for your wishes!:)hope your christmas was wonderful too(As I can see from all the dishes:))....whenever I want to get a whiff of fresh air I head over to your blog....:)Your writing is so fluid,it seems to come so naturally to you...I love all the stories you tell...and I specially love the Japanese wallpaper that you made:)
Thank you for the explanation - I only recently heard about the 13 desserts, but not what they consisted of. Now I know, and it all looks delicious!
Plus I enjoyed your version of "Keep Calm..." immensely =)
Have a lovely weekend!
Smilerynker said…
Wow... This looks good;o) Love your fotos.
Rachete said…
wish I were there!

Nixa said…
Que rico!Gracias por compartirlo con nosotros. :)
Vanessa said…
Merry Christmas, Lala! I'd love to have some polvoron and dried aprikosen! :-)
Couture Carrie said…
What an exquisite Andalusian feast! And the photos are incredible!

Felices fiestas :)

Niki said…
oh wow those desserts look amazing! I'd never heard of this tradition before but I think it's a beautiful idea, I'll have to research into it more!

Hope you had a great day!

willow said…
Lovely, lovely desserts! And wonderful lottery story. :)
Sabiq said…
you article make me hungry...
nice.. :D
Simonetta said…
Lala querida,
que surpresa linda te ver hoje no meu blog! adorei te conhecer este ano, você é uma pessoa muito sensivel e tenho certeza que o ano novo será pleno de vitórias pra ti e pro teu moncheri!
te desejo muitas realizações e um caminho cheio de beleza!
Somniferous said…
//a man earned 8 millions euros at the Christmas lottery (can't remember if it was in the North of France or Belgium) and gave half of it to needy people in his village. Love it !//

So he's only 50% asshole!

On tastier note, the desserts look delectable.
What a delectable and beautiful feast...not to mention exotic! It is everything I love. I wish I could have tasted it all. Thanks for asking about my arm - it is getting better and I start therapy next week. I should be ready for a few dance moves by Feria. So save a dance for me! (I only wish I was coming!)
What a tasty tradition! I think we shall have to adopt it (but for something besides Christmas, since I am not Christian! ; )

The photograph is beautiful and amusing....

I'm off to check out your shop!
Mary-Laure said…
I didn't know you were a Provencale!

13 desserts, what a wonderful tradition, I love them all. If you can't eat that turron, I'll have it...
ecrunner said…
The food looks amazing! Hope you had a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Years!
Sara said…
Your food photos are always so enjoyable - works of art. Of your 13 desserts, the ones I'd really like to taste are the bugnes and the roscos de anis! All the dried fruits and nuts, of course, are always delicious too.

What do you do there for New Year's Eve - anything special?
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