Sweets from Convents
One hundred percent artisanal, with limited production and cooked with the dedication characteristic of monastic life. Such are the sweets that you can buy in convents in many cities in Spain. Here are some suggestions for sampling these “divine” flavours.
Marzipan, wine bread rolls, fruit delights, truffles, egg cakes, doughnuts, cream puffs, tejas (crunchy biscuits), and pastries with dried fruit or yemas (sweet egg yolks roll) are some of the sweets made in monasteries and convents. These are mainly traditional recipes with a sugar, flour and egg base that have been passed down over time. These sweets are still prepared today by monks and nuns in a completely artisanal way. We recommend you try them, and they make gift to take home as a souvenir of Spain.
The confectionary of the convents has been so popular in Spain that many products are now sold outside of the monasteries or take their name from religious life. Some examples are the huesos de santo (saint’s bones), made mainly from a marzipan base, alfajores, many of the doughnuts typical of traditional festivals, and Christmas biscuits shortbreads.
Among the most well-known confections of Spain are some especially outstanding sweets such as the yemas of Ávila, from the Santa Teresa de Jesús monastery; the sweets of the Clarisse Sisters in their convents all over the country; the yemas of San Leandro, from the San Leandro convent in Seville; and the Sweets of the Conception, of the Santa Clara Convent in Alcázar de San Juan (Cáceres), among many others.
Things to remember:
This type of sweets can be bought in monasteries and cloistered convents in Spain, and an advanced order is often necessary. In many cases they can be found in establishments in the municipalities of each convent and, on occasion, over the Internet.
Every December Madrid hosts an annual fair for baked goods from monasteries and cloistered convents of Spain: Expoclausura.