My sister has given up chocolate and all things sweet for 40 days and 40 nights. Why? For Lent. In the UK, people traditionally eat pancakes on Shrove Tuesday (Fat Tuesday) and then they give up a sweet food in the run up to Easter.
In Spain and Catalonia, people party day and night for carnival and then they eat traditional Lent sweets in the run up to Easter; I know which country I prefer!
Here is your guide to Catalonia’s top foods for Lent and Easter:
- Buñuelos (Eating only 1 buñol is simply not possible)
These mini doughnuts, known as Lent fritters (buñuelos de Cuaresma), are eaten throughout Lent. (To be fair, buñyols were traditionally used as a way of getting through the traditional forty days of giving up meat). There are a number of variations to try: buñyols de crema (cream-filled), buñyols de vent (literally wind fritters: air-filled), buñyols del Empordà (a bit denser and common in Girona).
- Tortell de Rams
This ring-shaped marzipan cake, decorated with candied fruit, is traditionally eaten on Palm Sunday (the Sunday before Easter). Godparents give the cakes to their godchildren. If you like the sound of this, check out the Christmas version.
- Mona de Pascua
On Easter Sunday, godparents once again give a traditional cake to their godchildren: the mona de Pascua (Easter cake). In the past, these round cakes were topped with the same number of hard-boiled eggs as the age of the child. Now, they are chocolate masterpieces: chocolate palaces, topped with chocolate eggs, chocolate spidermen, chocolate princesses, chocolate spongebobs…
Once again, you have to give it to Spain, these chocolate masterpieces go above and beyond the chocolate eggs we give at home in the UK.