True lovers of the Christmas spirit know that traditional sweets are a fundamental part of the tradition. That is why at this time of year we forget about the gym and the scales to enjoy all that Spanish sweets for Christmas gastronomy has to offer. Nougat, marzipan, roscón de reyes… and many more that fill any dinner or meal typical of these special dates.
From The Spanish Club we have prepared a review of our cuisine to now show you the 5 most typical Christmas sweets in Spain. We will explain the origin and preparation of all of them.
Nougat, one of the most typical Christmas sweets
This is the most typical sweet at this time of year. It is made with honey, almonds, sugar and beaten egg white. It is true that nowadays this recipe has changed and nowadays we can find everything from chocolate nougat to pistachio or coconut nougat.
The best nougat in Spain is made in Alicante, specifically in the town of Jijona, a very old product of Arab origin. There are documents dating back to the 16th century that mention the existence of this exquisite delicacy, which is a basic sweet in the Mediterranean diet.
Marzipan, another of the essential Christmas sweets
It is originally from Toledo. The first references to marzipan date back to 1577, and its origin is still unknown. Its official recipe includes almonds and sugar crushed with a mallet, which gave it the name of «Pan de Maza». In Andalusia there are other versions such as Pan de Cádiz or Pastel de Gloria.
Polvorón, a Christmas dinner classic
This is another classic that is a must at any Christmas feast. It is a cake made of pork fat, wheat flour, ground almonds and sugar. It is typical of Andalusia, especially in the Seville area. Its name comes from the fact that when the polvorón is decorated with icing sugar or flour, it gives the impression that it is covered in dust.
Roscón de Reyes – Spanish Sweet for the 6th of January
This sweet doughnut, which is decorated with candied fruit, is undoubtedly the most popular and eagerly awaited sweet of all the festive season. We are sure that there are few homes in Spain where the Roscón is not the snack or breakfast of an incredible Three Kings Day. The fun of this dessert is the game it plays. Inside the roscón there is the figure of a king and a bean (although in recent years new figures and even money have been added). If you get the king you are crowned as such and if you find the bean you are obliged to pay for the roscón.
Mantecado, ideal for Christmas
This popular sweet was born in Andalusia, where, due to an excess of lard and cereals, this particular sweet was invented. Although it dates back to the 16th century, experts are not sure whether it originated in Estepa or Antequera. The best quality mantecados in Spain are found in Valladolid and Toledo.