First Easter mona cooked by Jordi Roca -chef pâtissier at El Celler de Can Roca-. A solidary mona supporting La Mona Foudation sold through Rocambolesc icecream and pastry shops. © Rocambolesc.

Eastwind says Holy Week goodbye till next Tuesday

Eastwindmarketing says their readers Easter -in Spain Semana Santa or Holy Week- goodbye till next tuesday 29th March.
Wish to all our readers nice holidays and leave here some Spanish creative chocolate “Easter monkeys” on our Pinterest channel boards: “Las monas más monas” (full of those traditional and creative Spanish Easter chocolates and cakes called monas de Pascua -some are impressive-); and “Easter eggs”.
If interested in knowing more about the original tradition of eating la mona de Pascua (Easter mona -Easter monkey-) in Spain, continue  reading this post. There are some of the most creative  Easter monas 2016 inside.

All started off back in the 15th Century

The tradition of eating monas (mona means gift in Moroccan) comes from the 15th century. Originally the Easter mona was a round cake similar to a big doughnut with some boiled eggs at the top. The number of eggs was the same as the godson’s age (no less than 2 and no more than 12), who usually receives la mona as a gift from his/her godfather or godmother.

Modern-traditional high cuisine Easter monas by theworldwide acclaimed pastry chef Paco Torreblanca . Photo © Totel pastry.
Modern-traditional high cuisine Easter monas by theworldwide acclaimed pastry chef Paco Torreblanca . Photo © Totel pastry.

It is a tradition in the Catalan, Balearic and Valencian regions, even in some towns in Murcia and Castilla la Mancha. But today one can find Easter monas in any pastry shops all over Spain.

Why boiled eggs?

During Lent (40 days before Easter) the Catholic Church forbids their faithful eating meat and eggs. That’s why people usually kept all the eggs from the hens until Easter and then put some of them on the mona.

Later, confectioners started to make more and more sophisticated monas. The eggs were substituted by figures made of chocolate. At first chocolate monkeys (in Spansh and Catalan mona means monkey).

Monas de Oriol Balaguer (colección 2016). © Oriol Balaguer.
Easter monas by Oriol Balaguer (2016 collection). © Oriol Balaguer.

Today the boiled egg has been replaced with a chocolate figure including first chocolate monkeys (mona means monkey in Spanish), chocolate eggs, bunnies, etc…Those chocolate figures have become more and more important to the point that curerntly some monas just consist of a big and spectacular chocolate figure (at least 30×30 cms or so).Some modern monas keep on being cakes but decoratd even with non edible items such as coloured feathers, streams, little yellow chickens…

Eating mona means that Lent is over, but…

Eating mona means that Lent has finished and that willingly abstinence from meat has gone by. The mona is traditionally consumed together with some chocolate, boiled egg or even longaniza de Pascua (Easter dry sausage), which is thinner other sausages.

Easter mona by Jordi Roca. Photo © Rocambolesc.
Easter mona by Jordi Roca. Photo © Rocambolesc.

The Easter mona was given out on Easter Sunday but not eaten until Easter Monday. Today monas are usually enjoyed all t la Semana Santa (Holy Week) long.

Easter monas with feathers, some of them without suggar, by Forns Enric. Photo © Forns Enric
Easter monas with feathers, some of them without suggar, by Forns Enric. Photo © Forns Enric

The consumption of monas is so extended in Catalonia that they are expected to be sold over 400,000 monas just in Barcelona region, at an average cost of €25-30 each.

Easter mona Star Wars Bb8 by Christian Escribà. Photo © SD Toys company that has contributed to the display of the Escribà pastry shop's showcase.
Easter mona Star Wars Bb8 by Christian Escribà. Photo © SD Toys company that has contributed to the display of the Escribà pastry shop’s showcase.

This tradition has become a good business and sometimes a marketing issue. Like in the case of Easter chocolate eggs, there are trends and one can easily find oneself this year in Spain eating a chocolate figure resembling the head of Darth Vader or as green as Yoda, by the so called Star Wars fever.

Image over the headline.- First Easter mona cooked by Jordi Roca -chef pâtissier at El Celler de Can Roca-. A solidary mona supporting La Mona Foudation sold through Rocambolesc icecream and pastry shops. © Rocambolesc.

Related Eastwindmarketing links (Spanish edition):

Marketing Star Wars.- ¡Que la mona te acompañe!

Related Eastwindlinks (Spanish edition):

Jordi Roca, con La Mona

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