Whilst you’ll find an abundance of delicious Spanish food and drink options available in Spain this Christmas, there’s nothing quite like a taste of home during the holiday season. Many Britons who would usually return home to the UK for Christmas are likely to be second-guessing their travel plans as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and the rise of the Omicron variant, meaning that they will now be spending Christmas in Spain. And if you do manage to travel to the UK, with the changes of the customs rules as a result of Brexit, you might struggle to then travel back to Spain with your favourite British edibles in your suitcase. That leaves you one viable option: finding all of your favourite British treats in Spain. With that in mind, here’s everything you need to know about sourcing your favourite British treats in Spain this Christmas:
Understanding the Brexit Customs Rules
As a result of the UK’s decision to leave the EU, Britons can no longer import animal-derived products from the UK into the EU, even if these are only in small quantities or for personal use. Looking at this with a Christmas slant, that means that products such as mince pies, Christmas pudding, chocolate, fudge and custard cannot be imported by individuals into the UK. Some bigger companies and supermarkets are able to import this products, but they can be tricky to find. The good news is that tricky doesn’t mean impossible, so by planning ahead and shopping in the right places, you can still have all the British Christmas treats you like most over the festive period.
Finding British Products in Spain
There are a host of overseas supermarkets in Spain which specialise in stocking British products which are tailored to the British palette. These include Iceland, Waitrose and Marks and Spencer and these brands have stores in locations where there are large numbers of ex pats, such as the Costa del Sol, the Costa Blanca, The Canary Islands, Alicante, Ibiza, Murcia, and Almeria. Because these are British supermarkets, you will find an abundance of British products all year round. During the Christmas period, all of your favourite staples, such as chocolates and mince pies, Christmas pudding and Christmas cake, will be available too. This is likely to be the best and easiest way to get your hands on the items you need, if you live in one of these regions.
In 2019 a new store arrived in Spain: The Food Co. Is a chain of British supermarkets that now has branches in Puerto de Mazarrón, Ibiza, Mijas and Ciudad Quesada in Alicante. The Food Co sells a mixture of British branded treats (such as Heinz and Cadburys) as well as Tesco-branded products. You will almost certainly find Tesco mince pies and Christmas pudding in store this month.
Although (as the name implies) their focus is on selling American produce, rather than British, Taste of America is a store worth exploring as many of the British and American festive holiday treats tend to overlap. You will find Taste of America stores in Madrid, Sevilla, Valencia and Barcelona. For items such as cranberry sauce, candy canes, and chocolates, this is the place to visit.
If you don’t live near one of the British supermarkets listed above then Spanish supermarkets often have an international food section which will feature some British products. El Corte Ingles has a gourmet food section which often features out of the ordinary British items such as mince pies and Christmas crackers. The Homeware store Muy Mucho also sells Christmas crackers and other long life treats during December. These include candy canes, hot chocolate powder, and marshmallows to sprinkle on top.
In Madrid, Malaga, Valencia and Alicante, you will find the store Dealz (this brand also has branches located elsewhere throughout the Costa del Sol). Dealz is a budget store similar to the UK’s Poundland, and they cater to their ex-pat market, meaning that you will often find favourite British treats in store. These will have a Christmas these as Christmas approaches.
Finally, don’t be afraid to think outside the box. Many British products have very similar versions (with slightly different names) that are popular Christmas treats in other European countries. Mulled wine is a great example of this: the Swedish version is called glogg and can be picked up in Ikea whilst the German version is called Gluwein and can be picked up in Lidl. Both of these variations taste remarkably similar to the traditional mulled wine that you’re used to. When it comes to desserts, German gingerbread from Lidl is also very similar to British gingerbread, and you’ll find other German, Italian and French Christmas treats here. It’s a great store to visit for all of your European Christmas dishes.
Will you be staying in Malaga this Christmas? Are you thinking of investing in a Marbella property of your own? Why not get in touch with our local property experts and let them help you find the perfect property of your dreams. Just like Santa, they’ll find you everything you’ve been looking for!