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What is Cena del pescaito of Feria de Abril?

Two weeks after celebration of Semana Santa, it is time for Feria de Abril. The fairgrounds of the neighbourhood of Los Remedios is decorated to become a unique city filled with hundreds of casetas, carriages and attractions with a constant flow of flamenco women and men in traditional suits. Clearly, no tradition held in Spain can be done without a generous help of food and drink - and Feria is no exception.

The official beginning of Feria is on Saturday at midnight and ends on the Sunday with fireworks. Feria starts off with the Saturday night dinner - Cena del pescaito (or also called la noche del pescaito - night of the fish), starting around 10:30 PM, before switching on the main lights of portada at midnight.

The dinner is held in individual casetas, where only members or invited persons may attend, and it is the most exclusive event of the week. These casetas are normally owned by prominent families of Seville, political parties, groups of friends, clubs or trade associations.

The essential dish at this dinner is fried fish - pescadito frito in Spanish, which sounds more like a pescaito with an andalucian accent. A wide variety of fish is served, such as salmonetes (red mullet), calamares (calamari), boquerones (anchovies), cazón (dogfish marinated in white wine, mixture of spices and olive oil). The fish is coated in a wheat flour, fried in a good olive oil and sprinkled with salt, and without further ado, the king plate of these Sevillian spring festivities is ready to be tasted.

Even though the pescaitos are the centre of attention, the traditional Spanish offerings are still available. In casetas you will always find a wide variety of tasteful tapas.

At lunchtime or during dinner there is at disposal a good assortment of wines, especially red and white wines of the area, but at any time always succeed drinks of manzanilla, finos de Jerez or a popular rebujito, which is the traditional drink of Feria and it is simply mixed dry Manzanilla with 7UP.