Happy Halloween / All Saint’s Day!
It’s Halloween this weekend, a traditional celebration in my homeland that has been slowly gaining celebrants in Spain throughout the years that I’ve lived here
Of course it’s clear what the attraction is: dressing up in spooky costumes, eating scarily-configured food items (a friend showed me a photo of a cake that she made with green ‘oozing’ frosting and chocolate severed fingers), and enjoying a night out with friends.
But an even more significant day in Spain this week is tomorrow: November 1st, El Día de Todos los Santos, or All Saint’s Day. This Spanish national holiday marks a catholic tradition that goes back for more than a thousand years. One of the characteristics of this day, which is celebrated in slightly different ways all over Spain, is the variety of traditional sweets that appear on and around this date.
Find out more about Halloween in Spain
Recipes of the month
Huesos de Santo:Despite the odd name, huesos de santo or "saint's bones" are delicious treats. The Spanish traditionally eat them on November 1st, All Saints Day. That is the day when families gather and visit their loved-ones' graves. The funny name of this sweet comes from the appearance of a white bone on the outside, and is filled with a sticky yellow filling.
Bunuelos:As the name implies, these "bunuelos" are light and fluffy, and melt in your mouth. They are perfect for an afternoon snack or dessert and are a typical Spanish dessert. They are lightly fried, and dusted with powdered sugar and/or filled with pastry cream, egg custard or marmalade.
Panellets:Panellets are a traditional sweet from Catalonia, prepared for Dia de Todos los Santos or All Saints Day and served with moscatel or cava, Spanish sparkling wine. It is made of equal parts ground almonds and sugar, formed into balls and decorated with pine nuts, rolled in cocoa powder, candied cherries or coconut flakes. They can also be flavored with coffee or cinnamon. The most popular type is the one rolled in pine nuts.
Products of the month
Membrillo & Artisan Young Manchego Combo:In Spain, Manchego cheese is often served with membrillo quince jelly for dessert. Our artisan young Manchego is rich and flavorful. It is perfectly balanced by our sweet and slightly tart membrillo by Cal Valls. Just cut slices of each and serve on a platter.Membrillo is a medieval fruit similar to an apple, with a delightfully sweet tartness. The
family owned company Cal Valls in Catalunya makes their membrillo preserve the old fashioned way, with cane sugar and fresh fruit. The resulting membrillo is bursting with flavor and not to sweet.The perfect pairing is with the rich, slightly salty flavor of Manchego cheese. The milk comes from Manchega sheep that wander the nearby countryside eating grasses and herbs. The quality of the milk and the careful family production make this ones of the finest Manchegos in all of Spain.Slice a wedge of Manchego and pair it with a slice of membrillo. Pure, natural flavors that are perfect partners.
Wine of the month
Marques de Gelida Brut Cava 2009:90 Points - [Refers to previous vintage] - "This frothy effort exhibits more brioche and buttered citrus notes, light to medium body, and a clean/pure style. Again, it is a super value in sparkling white wine." -The Wine Advocate.
PS: Remember you can find many more Spanish recipes at www.spain-recipes.com and www.easy-tapas-recipes.com.