How to Host Thanksgiving in Spain

Having hosted two Thanksgivings in Spain, I now consider myself an expert, obviously. That’s just how these things go.


  • Buy a female turkey, una pavita. I had no idea before 2010, but smaller turkeys are tastier



Mario helped too!

  • Have a pinche, a sous chef. Mario’s father, Jesús, was my sous chef, and the best one there could possibly be. He spent the whole morning chopping, cutting, and just generally being helpful. Also, he is totally relaxed. Find one of those.
  • There will be bread. This is Spain, how could there not be?
  • Stand up to the idea of primer plato, segundo plato. Stay steadfast in your American-type meal and have your guests eat everything off the same plate. The horror!



  • Let someone else make the dessert, even if they make it differently than you would. This year, we didn’t have the traditional pumpkin pie; rather, we had a sort of pumpkin cake. No big deal. We ate some pumpkin, okay?!


  • Drink local wine. Better yet, have another person bring that local wine, especially someone from Toro!

There you go, my recommendations for a Spanish-American Thanksgiving. Go forth, and roast yourself a turkey!

12 thoughts on “How to Host Thanksgiving in Spain

  1. Que curioso–I had no idea that pavitas were more scrumptious than their pavones cousins.

    Good for you for undertaking Thanksgiving–I got stressed out when my hand mixer went on the fritz, and I was only contributing mashed potatoes to a friend’s Thanksgiving feast!

    1. It was a bit stressful, but only at the end.

      As far as the pavitas go, well — you live, you learn! I didn’t know until 2010, like I said.

  2. After also hosting 2 Thanksgiving abroad, I think I have it down! Also, did not know that little turkey existed, nor did I know they were more delicious. Looks like it was a smashing success!

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