A Barcelona of cakes and pastries

A Barcelona of cakes and pastries
  • On 6 January, known as the diada dels Reis [Twelfth Night] in Catalonia, people eat the traditional tortell , a marzipan-filled ring cake which hides a surprise: whoever finds the little figure is crowned the king of the party, while the unlucky person who finds the bean is declared the ruc, or "ass", and they have to buy another cake on 17 January for St Anthony, the patron saint for animals.

  • When Quaresma, or Lent, comes round, the cake shops are full of these traditional sugar-coated fritters, which are sometimes stuffed with cream. You always want more!

  • Since the 15th century, tradition has dictated that godparents must buy their godchildren a cake with painted eggs and decorative figures. At the start of the 20th century, the Barcelona pastry chef Antoni Escribà transformed these figures into chocolate sculptures and, today, you can find some real works of art round the city.

  • For the Midsummer Night's Eve on 23 June, when people celebrate the shortest night of the year round bonfires, cake shops sell the traditional cocas, flat yeast breads with a variety of fillings and toppings: cream and pine nuts, glazed fruit, crême brûlée, etc. A real feast!

  • In Catalonia, the sweets people usually eat with the traditional chestnuts for All Saints on 1 November are called panellets. They have marzipan on the inside and the most popular exterior is pine nuts. Almond, coconut, chocolate and coffee panellets are traditional too and every year you can discover more innovative and original flavours.

  • For Christmas we have torrons! These almond-based sweets have been a feature of Catalan cookery books since the Middle Ages and they are an essential part of any meal during the Christmas festivities. You can buy them in any cake shop and there are more and more specialist shops selling them throughout the year.