Spanish Pastries/Desserts

Old Feb 1st, 2007, 01:40 PM
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Spanish Pastries/Desserts

Another thread seems to have rightly generated interest in this topic. Here are some of my favorites:

capuchino-( has nothing to do with coffee) this is an egg yolk soaked sweet "cake" usually adorned with GOBS of whipped cream.
El Corte Inglés actually has a very good one.

-Pestiños.. this honey covered fried piece of probably LARD puff pastry is what made me gain at least 10 lbs. in Salamanca 35 years ago! These can be hit or miss .. like so many of the spanish pastries, unfortunately. ( they look better than they taste many a time)
It depends alot on the bakery ( not surprising)

-Tocino de cielo.. an egg yolk and sugar only custard. tiny portion will do it.

-Pastel Ruso.. this is a thin meringue cake split and filled with a thin layer of hazelnut cream. I had somethig similar in the czech republic. It can be bought at C.I. gourmet department.

-Flan.. creme caramel.. custard..

-crema catalana. this is the spanish version of Creme brulée.. this can be fabulous.

pan quemado.. not my favorite.. but it is a sweet yeast bread taken with tea or coffee, perhaps butter and marmalade.

-mil hojas.. this is a puff pastry filled with pastry or whipped cream. quality and tastiness will depend on the bakery.

-rollitos de anís.. these are good most everywhere. they are handmade round cookies with flour, sugar, some type of oil or whatever, and anisette. dry and crunchy but very tasty.

Mantecados.. these are often made by the nuns, but are found everywhere. this is similar to a cookie that crumbles easily. the authentic ones are made from lard ( manteca) thus the name. a touch of cinnamon at times.

Polvorones...now these are like mantecados but much moister, and distributed mainly at xmas time. very crumbly, but they come in a variety of flavors. cinnamon is my favorite. Can only handle one of these.. very heavy and sticks to the roof of your mouth.

-turron. this is the almond brick candies eaten as special post dinner treat during the holidays. however, now they make turron in many flavors. try "Turron" ice cream. "Heldao de turron". it is yummy and made from the soft almond turron.

You will find "Yemas" at the convents. these are egg yolk based goodies that are more complicated to make and tedious, thus being quite popular to get at the convents.
Pay attention to expiration dates. years ago there WERE NONE and i learned my lesson. they do not keep LONG.

maybe others can add some things they enjoy. i am just "adlibbing" and running out of ideas here!
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lincasanova is offline  
Old Feb 1st, 2007, 01:46 PM
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Thanks for these descriptions, lincasanova! I will be in Spain in April and cannot wait to try some of these delights!

Speaking of food, I realize Spain is known for tapas & sangria. What are some good specialty dishes unique to Spain? I'm not a huge meat or seafood eater, but I'm willing to try anything once!
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Old Feb 1st, 2007, 01:51 PM
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For dessert...actually not my favorite course...certainly Flan.

Churros for breakfast...Kind of a warm donut thing that look like cheese straws...kind of like an straight funnel cake.

Spanish Tortilla is a must try...not what most think of for tortilla...it's kind of like a potato omelet but not folded over
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Old Feb 1st, 2007, 02:11 PM
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Dear lincasanova,
Your post brought back the "sweetest" memories for me!
My first trip to Spain was in the autumn, after the yearly nut harvest. There was absolutely incredibly fresh turron everywhere. In Barcelona, I ate tons of butter cookies topped with pine nuts. In Granada, it was no longer a butter cookie, but a ball of marzipan rolled in pine nuts and then dipped in some kind of syrup....my teeth ache right now thinking about it.

Creme catalan was a revelation. I thought I knew all about rich and eggy desserts, but creme catalan was a whole new universe of rich and eggy.

Polverones - They were wrapped in brightly colored metallic papers and so festive looking piled up on a plate. I remember a Christmastime dinner in a restaurant where the kind waiter showed me how to squeeze the cookie before unwrapping, to prevent an explosion crumbs all over my clothes.

When I traveled to Portugal a short time later, one of my favorite treats was basically an egg yolk caramelized in sugar - I don't know its name, but it sure fits in with this whole category of the sweetest sweets.
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Old Feb 1st, 2007, 02:16 PM
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Oh yes, churros!
You know "suizo", the hot chocolate served at breakfast in Spain (the kind that resembles a liquid chocolate pudding)? Well, I remember seeing many people stirring their suizo with a piece of churro, and thinking, "...now THIS is the breakfast of champions!"
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Old Feb 1st, 2007, 03:19 PM
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dovima.. i wasn´t going to go into the "squeezing the polvoron so it doesn´t fall apart " lesson here.. your comment made me chuckle.

lolly.. basically there are very good stews and menus of the day. do not expect the "ternera" (beef) to be more than a minute steak. but pork, lamb and chicken are usually good.

anything "a la plancha" is healthy and tasty, usually. (grilled) from veggies to meats, squid, (sepia and calamar)..

there are some other posts here i am sure that can elaborate more.

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Old Feb 2nd, 2007, 03:58 PM
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dovima,

I'm glad you remember the "suizo". That is exactly how we ate our churros, but I don't know that I ever knew the name. I was a teenager and didn't drink coffee at the time, so we ordered "thick hot chocolate". Yum.
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