Semana Santa is almost upon us again and the Easter holidays are a very important festival in Spain, celebrated this year from 5th to the 12th of April 2020. Due to the coronavirus outbreak in Spain, this year's celebrations may be a little different. It is unlikely that the traditional sombre parades that usually fill the streets during Semana Santa will take place, but that doesn't mean you can't enjoy the typical food on offer at Easter in Spain. You can even have a go at making some traditional Easter treats at home!
These are the top 9 Spanish pastries and desserts that are traditional at Eastertime to get your mouth watering.
Of all the Semana Santa food in Spain, torrijas are probably the most popular. They consist of slices of bread that are soaked in milk, coated with egg, fried in olive oil and served with a coating of sugar or cinnamon. It’s very common to find torrijas in bars and restaurants all over Spain at this time of year.
Roscos, or rosquillas, are kind of like doughnuts which are fried in oil like torrijas, and each region of Spain has its own version. They can be filled with anything from cream to aniseed liquor, and can be either crunchy or soft.
Also known as panquemao, and with a name literally translated as ‘burnt bread’, this traditional Easter food from Valencia may not seem very appetising at first, but once you see and smell the sugary cake, you won’t be able to resist it.
Buñuelos de viento
Buñuelos are sweet doughballs that are eaten throughout the year in Spain, although they are most traditional at Easter and around Hallowe’en. The tastiest ones are filled with cream, and the best way to eat them is with a fresh cup of hot chocolate. There is even a savoury version made with codfish which is also typical at this time of year.
This sweet pastry is a typical treat in Andalusia at Easter. Pestiños are shaped like folded over squares and often contain sherry and aniseed for a strong, boozy flavour. Traditionally in the small Andalusian villages, the entire population of the town would come together and work in teams to make pestiños together, an Easter food tradition that truly captures the spirit of community in Spain.
Gañotes de Ubrique
Another Easter food tradition in Spain involves the curious-looking and funny-sounding gañotes de Ubrique. Also of Andalusian origin, specifically the province of Cadiz, they look a little bit like a turkey twizzler but are succulently sweet inside. The town of Ubrique even hosts its own gañote competition every year in honour of this traditional local recipe.
Mona de Pascua
If you’re thinking of cooking a big meal to celebrate Easter in Spain, another simple Easter food idea for your table is the Mona de Pascua. This round cake is similar to the roscón that Spanish people eat at Christmas, and is very easy to make. You only need flour, sugar, eggs and a raising agent. The thing that sets this dessert apart is the hardboiled eggs that are baked into the centre for decoration.
The name of this pastry comes from the word ‘drunk’ in Spanish, owing to the fact that each pastry is drenched in wine before being fried in oil and given a generous covering of sugar. This dessert is typical in Malaga, and can be found in the shop windows of any good bakery there.
While many other Easter foods may be very different in Spain, there is one thing we have in common: chocolate Easter eggs. Known in Spanish as huevos de Pascua or huevos de chocolate, they are given to children as gifts at Easter and often have a little present inside, just like in many other countries.
Don't miss out on all of these delicious sweet treats which you can try or make at home during the Easter holidays - start making room in your belly now!