Thanksgiving can be a very nostalgic time of the year for most Americans living here, having to miss out on this traditional holiday feast with family back home in the States. But nowadays, with the easy access to imported products and prepared restaurant menus, Thanksgiving can be just as enjoyable in Madrid with fellow expats and Spanish friends.
Turkey is the protagonist to the feast and they are remarkably available in supermarkets. Reserving a whole fresh turkey at your local butcher or in bigger supermarkets like in El Corte Ingles or Carrefour is recommendable at least a few days in advance. Lidl also carries small frozen turkeys. Another option for those with no oven (sadly many don’t have the, believe it or not!) can opt for precut turkey breasts instead, known as pechuga de pavo (not to be mistaken with lonchas, the sandwiches slices)…and make this divine recipe.
Many traditional side dishes accompany the bird such as a green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, corn, cranberry sauce & of course, the all famous pumpkin pie. Pumpkins, yams & sweet potatoes are all very commonly sold in local fruit stands to make pies and casseroles with, but if making it from scratch is not your cup of tea, then a canned pumpkin puréed mix can be easily found in Taste of America or Sabores del Mundo, along with many American imported goods needed to complete the feast like marshmallows, canned cranberries and pecans. You can find fresh cranberries at Gold Gourmet & Mercado de la Cebada and whole shelled pecans in Carrefour and El Corte Inglés.
If cooking is altogether out of the question or you have no time to prepare at home, then you can opt instead to dine-in restaurants that serve the traditional meal to homesick Americans and anyone who would like to experience this customary feast. The restaurant Taxi to Manhattan has a menu for about 30 euros where they offer pumpkin cream or crunchy pear salad and a roasted turkey leg with its stuffing accompanied by delicious rations from cranberry sauce to mashed potatoes. You can eat at the restaurant from Thursday 23 to Sunday 26 November and also pick up to go. Another restaurant which has incorporated this American tradition is Desencaja. The resident chef, Iván Sáez prepares a delicious special menu for the third year in a row. For 35 euros you will get pumpkin cream with fresh cheese, chestnut with mushroom salad, roasted turkey, glazed carrots, green beans and cranberry sauce. Then for dessert cranberry cake with crumble , cream cheese and chocolate.
Then for some American Comfort Food restaurant La Gringa offers a wonderful full-course Thanksgiving feast for lunch & dinner for about 35€. Other authentic experiences are at Hard Rock Cafe Madrid or James Joyce Irish Pub. Reservations are needed and are booked quickly, so call ASAP!
Remember, Thanksgiving is next Thursday, November 22nd so gather up your friends and enjoy this day to be thankful (and gain a few pounds). Gobble, gobble!