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Archive for February 15th, 2019

Semana Santa, also known as Holy Week, is one of the most important events in the Spanish calendar. From Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday, thousands of people flock to attend the numerous processions that take place all over Spain. However one of the most important parts of the Semana Santa celebrations, is of course the traditional sweets and pastries. Below we have created a list of the most typical traditional treats, as well as the best bakeries to buy them!

Delicious Desserts

1) Torrijas

This original yet traditional dessert is based on a slice of bread soaked in milk, breaded in egg, fried in extra virgin olive oil and flavoured with syrup or, in this case, sugar and cinnamon. Simple yet delicious, they can come in many different varieties. For those who are lactose intolerant you can replace the milk with a coffee syrup, they can be caramelized for extra sweetness, and you can even bake them to make them a little lighter. A truly versatile yet traditional treat!

torrijas

home-made torrija

2) Monas de Pascua

Monas de Pascua are one of the most essential Holy Week desserts. The recipe is a very traditional one all around the country but is particularly special in places such as Murcia, Valencia, Catalonia and Castilla la Mancha. Today La Mona de Pascua is decorated with a chocolate glaze, almonds, chocolate eggs, colourful feathers and cartoon characters. It’s so popular that Catalonia’s bakeries can expect to sell 600,000 of this festive speciality by Easter Monday.

monas de pascua

mona de Pascua cake

3) Buñelos de Viento

The Buñuelos de Viento are a very typical dessert around Easter time, but are actually still popular all year round. A light and fluffy dessert that you’ll love every bite of, it’s a very simple recipe to make. The base is made of a choux dough that is then fried and coated in a mixture of sugar and cinnamon. You can even sprinkle them with icing sugar, cinnamon, or fill them with custard or cream, to enjoy them however you like!

buñelos

buñuelos de viento

4) Pestiños

Pestiños are a typical dessert from southern Spain, from Andalusia to Murcia or Extremadura, although they first originated from Arab countries. The traditional recipe is made with a dough that includes orange, cinnamon and sesame as well as sugar, strength flour and white wine. The recipe is actually very simple – and the tradition is to make them with your family or among friends, as with this desert it’s not just the end result, but the process that goes with it.

pestiños

Easter pestiños

 

The Best Bakeries

1) La Mallorquina, Madrid

La Mallorquina is often considered the most famous pastry shop in Madrid and is located on the corner or Calle Mayor in Puerta del Sol. It’s been in business for more than 100 years, making it one of the oldest pastelerías in the city too. It was founded as a café by Mallorcan man Juan Ripoll in the mid-1800s who gave it its name, which in English means “the woman from Mallorca”. The shop has two stories and a large seating area upstairs where you can relax and watch the passers-by in Sol, while enjoying a delicious pastry with a coffee. The best-selling products here are the Neapolitan cream and the chocolate palm, but during Semana Santa you’re sure to find some delicious Torrijas and Buñuelos de Viento.

la mallorquina

La Mallorquina, Madrid

2) El Riojano, Madrid

Next on the list is El Riojano, Also located in Madrid’s Calle Mayor. Riojan man Don Dámaso de la Maza opened this bakery in 1855 but before opening his own store he worked as Queen Isabella II’s pastry chef, and to this day El Riojano still serves pastries to the Spanish royal family! The Elizabethan era décor along with the showcases full of scrumptious pastries will be sure to catch the eye of any visitor, despite the café’s small size. It also boasts an array of Semana Santa specialities, which include buñelos, torrijas, Monas de Pascua and much more.

el riojano

inside El Riojano, Madrid

3) Pastelería Hofmann, Barcelona

Located in the Borne neighbourhood of Barcelona, next to the Basilica of Santa María del Mar, Hofmann is a centrally located French-inspired boutique which opened in 2008. The delicious sweets and pastries here are freshly baked every day, made from the best quality raw ingredients while respecting the traditions of the classic pastry. Some seasonal sweets found here include the traditional torrijas, monas de Pascua and buñelos – but what makes Hofmann unique is their seasonal edible animals! Chickens, eggs, cows, sheep and other farm animals all ready to be eaten.

hofmann

inside La Pastelería Hofmann, Barcelona 

4) La Pastisseria Escribà, Barcelona

The Escribà Pastry Shop is considered to be one of the best bakeries in the city. It has multiple stores located around Barcelona, where you will find an assortment of cakes, sweets and pastries which are all unique. This pastry shop was founded in 1906 and still remains as one of the most outstanding in Barcelona, due to its creativity and original concepts. Escribà particularly stands out around Easter time and this is down to their beautiful and original Monas de Pascua. Their little chocolate designs are nothing short of works of art and are definitely worth trying this Semana Santa.

escriba

La Pastissería Escribà, Barcelona

5) El Cachorro, Sevilla

This bakery and confectionery is a family business that, for almost six decades now, has traditionally made traditional Sevillian sweets. However during Holy week, they produce desserts such as pestiños fried in olive oil and bathed in honey of flowers, to give that old-fashioned touch to Holy Week as well as chocolate torrijas as a novelty. They follow ancestral recipes and use only the best raw ingredients in the market, to preserve the traditional qualities.

6) Pastelería Acueducto, Segovia

With a team of professionals under the command of Miguel Sanz, the Pastelería Acueducto offers its clients dedication and the best ingredients in each of its products. Continuing with its philosophy of combining tradition and modernity, this renowned confectionery boasts a variety of delicious desserts including yemas, buñuelos and empiñonados to all those who cross their doors during Semana Santa.

pasteleria acueducto

La Pastelería Acueducto, Segovia

If you want to learn more about Spain’s fascinating cultures and traditions, be sure to follow the across spain travel chronicles blog!

map

map locating the cities mentioned

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