Once the joy of Carnival has passed, Spain sinks enthusiastically into the spirituality and fervour of Easter. This traditional festivity, in commemoration of the death of Jesus Christ, fills tables with the most exquisite delicacies. Now is your chance to enjoy a unique, gastronomic Easter with one especially delicious protagonist: the sweets.

Food is a vital part of Spanish culture. Typical foods and dishes are just one more way for people to join in celebrations, festivities and get-togethers. The rich flavours of traditional sweets and desserts are a vital part of Easter. These are deep-rooted, traditional, simple family recipes, enjoyed by people all over Spain at this time of year.

You should definitely try torrijas at Easter. They are eaten all over Spain and consist of slices of bread soaked in milk, sugar and egg, fried in olive oil. According to what they are dipped in, and the way they are presented, there are other, delicious varieties: with wine, syrup, honey or sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon. Monas de Pascua are another classic sweet, especially in Catalonia and on the Valencia coast. They are chocolate shapes which usually have a surprise inside. Children love them and in Catalonia it is traditional to give them to the little ones on Easter Monday.

Flores de Semana Santa are just as attractive on account of their unusual shape. They are large and delicate with a sweet, crunchy texture. If you happen to be in the Castile-Leon area, you will discover a delicious tradition on Easter Sunday: the hornazo. It is a big pie filled with things like egg, pork loin and ham. There is also a sweet version made with almonds, sugar, aniseed and egg.

Bartolillos from Madrid, rosquillas de Semana Santa (Easter doughnuts), leche frita (fried dessert with milk and eggs), pestiños (pastries with sesame and honey) and buñuelos (fried pastries) are other typical delicacies to be sampled at this time of year. At Easter time Spanish homes, cake shops and restaurants bring out their old recipes to prepare delicious sweets that are as good to look at as they are to eat. Make the most of these days to enjoy unique festivities in Spain, without forgetting, of course, to sample the exquisite delights to be found at table.

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