Posts Tagged ‘Mona de Pascua’

Easter Traditions

March 26th, 2013 | Events, Food & Wine, Spanish Culture | 0 Comments

Image Courtesy of Spain.info

There are many different Easter traditions celebrated around the world, some food-related, others religious, but pretty much everyone agrees that chocolate needs to be a part of the day.

In Spain, a cake known as ‘La Mona de Pascua’ (chocolate sculptures in a variety of shapes, like castles or pirate boats) is given to children by their godparents on Easter Sunday along with chocolate eggs. Children then smash open the monas with their  hands to eat the chocolate pieces. And even though they will eventually be smashed,  the making of monas has become somewhat competitive among Spanish chocolatiers who vie to outdo each other by creating increasingly complex and creative sculptures. How cool is that?!

My Spanish friend Josep told me about another traditional Easter gift given to children. In addition to a mona, many children receive a palm frond to bring to church on Palm Sunday, when they shake the fronds in unison to commemorate Jesus’ triumphant arrival in Jerusalem. Many of these palm fronds come from the Palmeral of Elche, the largest palm grove in Europe and a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is located in the Spanish province of  Alicante. The palm fronds are tied and covered to whiten them away from sunlight before being shipped across the country. The palms are often woven into elaborate designs and decorated with candy and small toys.

Of course here in America Easter gifts come in a basket that is usually filled with a chocolate rabbit, jelly beans, and a gift or two.

The Easter egg hunt is another big tradition in America, but my favorite part of the day was searching for our Easter baskets first thing in the morning. Now not everyone hides baskets, but that is a tradition we had in our home and I think the family traditions we create are often the most treasured.

In Spain, America, and in most other countries, a family meal is also a big part of the holiday. Check back on Thursday for a recipe and wine pairing perfect for serving on Easter Sunday.

What is your favorite Easter tradition?

Related Article:

The Sweet Taste of Easter in Spain

What to Make This Weekend: Mona de Pascua

April 5th, 2012 | Food & Wine, Recipes & Tapas, Spanish Culture | 0 Comments

After a enjoying a lovely egg dish for Easter brunch, why not indulge in a traditional Spanish Easter cake, known as Mona de Pascua. In Spain, this delicious cake is normally given to godchildren by their godparents and is often elaborately decorated with colorful accents, as well as chocolate candies or sculptures.

Mona de Pascua

Ingredients:
Cake:
- 4 eggs
- 2/3 cups of sugar
- 1 cup of flour
- 1 teaspoon of yeast
- 2 egg whites
- ¼ cup of butter
Approximately 1 ¼ cup of peach jam

Garnish:
- 1 ¼ cups of dark chocolate chips
- ½ cup of butter

Directions:
Pre-heat the oven to 350º F.

Beat the eggs and sugar together in a bowl.

In a separate bowl mix the flour and yeast together.

Slowly add the mixture of flour and yeast through a sieve to the egg and sugar mixture, stirring constantly.

Whisk the egg whites in a separate bowl and add sugar while whisking. Add to the flour and egg mixture.

Put the final mixture into a greased and flour round cake pan and place it in the oven for about 45 minutes. When it’s baked, allow to cool and cut in half and spread with the jam.

For the garnish, stir and melt the chocolate and butter together and cover the cake with the mixture.

Decorate with Easter-themed décor, such as feathers, chicks, and chocolate eggs and bunnies.

Spanish Food Recipes and Tapas