The French are known for their melt-in-your-mouth, more-butter-than-you-can-handle desserts that are just so delicious it’s worth the journey all the way there just to try the real thing.
While the Spanish, on the other hand, are known for their festivals, sensational wines, breathtaking and diverse landscapes, and delectable Spanish cuisine, the desserts, delicacies and sweets of this enchanting land seem to sit in the shadow of some of the other European countries. The fact of which is nothing short of a travesty. The incredible Spanish pastry shops (pastelerias) with their gorgeous homemade confectioneries will have your mouth watering as you pass them by, with an array of tempting treats in the windows to entice you into their shops.
For those individualists out there, who have had their fair share of buttery croissants and are looking to get their sugar kick from some of the lesser known Spanish delicacies, here is a list of Spanish treats you are sure to fall in love with:
This tasty treat is typically enjoyed over the Christmas period and speaks of the ethnicity and diversity of Spanish cuisine. Hugely influenced by the Moors, this Arabic-inspired delicacy is traditionally made with almonds and honey and is nougat-esque in its flavour, consistency (for some types of turrón) and moreish powers. These days, however, they offer an array of different flavours – the great news is it comes in chocolate, a caramel variation (Turron de Guirlache) and a sugar-free version.
Churros y chocolate
For the most part, Spanish cuisine is undoubtedly healthy, but every now and then it deviates and the result is something so delicious, you feel totally justified in indulging in it. If you are someone who can’t resist the sugar-crusted, crispy-soft deliciousness of a freshly made doughnut, then you will be in trouble with this one. Churros are made from deep fried elongated pieces of dough, which are then topped with copious amounts of sugar or honey. They are traditionally enjoyed alongside a cup of thick hot chocolate, which they are often dipped into and enjoyed. They come with a word of warning: these delicious morsels are highly addictive!
Tarta De Santiago
Like much of the desserts in Spanish cuisine, this show-stopper’s central ingredient is nuts. Tarta de Santiago is an almond tart, and it’s totally unassuming but absolutely sensational. This incredibly simple, moist almond tart’s name literally translates to ‘the cake of St. James’ and reigns from Galicia with its origins in the middle ages. Made up easily from ground almonds, lemon zest, eggs, sugar and some form of sweet wine (depending on the recipe) – but don’t be fooled by this tart’s simplicity, it’s absolutely incredible. Powdered sugar and a cross of St. James elegantly finishes this shortcrust tart off.
Another sneaky treat, Torrijas, are so ridiculously indulgent, they should be illegal. Torrijas are basically French toast taken to the Nth degree. Unfortunately, they are not a year-round part of Spanish cuisine (probably for the better) but find their way to the windows of bakeries come Easter. Quite literally little delicious pieces of fried bread, they are flavoured with cinnamon and sometimes a dash of alcohol. The base of these delicacies is milk, sugar, egg and bread which is fried in olive oil. They are then dipped in a variety of goodness, some of the which include, chocolate (though not very traditional), wine, honey, syrup or even lightly coated with sugar and cinnamon. Bite-sized and absolutely delicious, these Easter treats are a must-try.
Miguelitos: the ultimate kryptonite when it comes to Spanish cuisine and all of the Spanish delicacies – well, for me anyway. Matchbox-sized pastries that were originally invented in La Roda, and because of the location of the little town, between Madrid, Murcia and Alicante, they quickly became famous throughout the country. What’s great about these is, unlike some of the other sweets, they can be enjoyed year-round. These exceptionally light puff pastry delights are usually then filled with delicious chocolate ganache or cream and dusted with fine icing sugar. These days there are a couple of other variations of this wonderful dessert, that typically comes in a box of 12. To share or not to share? That is the question.
If you have a sweet tooth and feel like it’s time to leave the macarons behind and try something a little different, then you have to try the Spanish treats mentioned above! And what better place to do so than Spain itself? Get in touch with us to book a stay at one of our superb hotels in Calpe, where our phenomenal and friendly staff will happily point you in the right direction of the best bakeries in town.