The Best Monas de Pascua in Alicante
24 March, 2015
Traditional festivities often go hand-in-hand with culinary delights, as is the case with the mona de Pascua, associated with Easter Monday, when the custom is for men to gift one of these cakes to their godchildren. Eating the mona de Pascua ushers in the end of Lent and fasting.
Themonais eaten in various regions of Spain, including Catalonia, the Balearic Islands, Aragon, Murcia and Valencia, each with their own recipe and peculiarity. In Catalonia, the chocolate mona prevails, while in Valencia they resemble a sweet bun, most of them made of flour, sugar, eggs and salt.
The Tradition in Alicante
Several types ofmonaare made in the Community of Valencia, although the panquemado or toña are available all year around in bakeries and pastry shops. But the variety that appear at Easter are more elaborate and decorative. They are usually either elongated or round and dusted withanisetes(aniseed candies). Those made for children come in amusing, attractive shapes, such as monkeys, snakes or lizards, with a hard-boiled egg embedded in their mouths.
In Alicante and, in general, throughout the Levante (south-eastern seaboard), the custom is to go on an outing in the countryside or hills on the Day of the Mona. Families and friends meet to eat the traditional confectionery in nearby nature areas, including the Sierra de Callosa, the Pinada de Guardamar and the Sierra del Maigmó.
One amusing custom is to break the hard-boiled egg that comes with the mona on a friend’s or family member’s head. They say that some bakers garnish their monas with raw eggs to make the situation even more entertaining. The ritual dictates that the aggressor recite the verse: “Ací em pica, ací em cou i ací t’esclafe l’ou” (Here I’m itching, here I’m smarting and here I break the egg over you).
The Best Pastry Shops in Alicante to Buy Monas and other Confectionery
In Alicante, the pastry shops vie with one another to produce the best monas and display them in their shop windows. One of the most acclaimed ones in the city is Prefiero Sussu, owned by José Manuel Samper, at number 3, calle Pintor Baez. It is a landmark of the best pastries and has won several awards for its delicious toñas. At Sussu they also make one of the finest croissants in Spain. Fresh out of the oven, the taste of butter is unmistakeable, as margarine is not allowed into the Prefiero Sussu bakery under any circumstance.
Horno Rafelet, at 57 calle Maestro Alonso, is a family concern in operation since 1932 where some exquisite homemade products are made. It stands out from the rest because of the traditional recipes they follow and their fine baking.
In the town of Orihuela, in Alicante province, we find what are reputed to be the best toñas in the province. They come from the bakery of El Horno del Obispo, which has been operating since 1850, located in the historic centre of Orihuela. It shares the accolade for the best toñas in Alicante with El Angel, also located in that town. If you visit Orihuela, you should also taste their typical confectionery, known as chato de Orihuela.
How about the Gluten-free Variety?
If you’re looking for gluten- and lactose-free monas de Pascua, there are some delicious ones in the Pastelería José María García, at 46 avenida de Novelda. Their bakery follows homemade recipes based on natural products.
What are you waiting for? Check out our prices here!
Text by Scanner FM
Images by Horno Rafelet, La Murciana and Pastelería Torreblanca
24 March, 2015