What to eat

Sweets and confectionary

Honey, sugar, almonds and spices are the essential ingredients used to make pastries. These traditional Arab sweets are often made by nuns in closed convents. The Piononos are small sweets that are named after Pope Pius IX and merit a visit to Santa Fe. The Huevos moles made by the nuns of San Antón and the Tortas de almendra are very good. The syrups made by the Comendadoras de Santiago and the Monasterio de San Jerónimo, the Cocas yemadas made by the order of San Bernardo del Císter, the Huesos de santo by the order of Santa Catalina, and the Hojarascas made by the nuns in the Convento de Isabel la Real are amazing. Sweets leftover from Christmas are used to make the traditional Cuajada de Carnaval eaten during Carnival Week, served in a typical ceramic dish. The feast day of Our Lady of Sorrows, the patron saint of Granada, is celebrated in September with large creamy cakes.

A Jewish influence has also left its mark on local pastries. The Aljamas are biscuits made with raisins, honey syrup and sugar. Many of these recipes are taken from the Sephardic communities, whilst others were inspired by the Moorish and Mudejar cuisine.

Sweets from La Alpujarra are undoubtedly Muslim in origin and their wide range of desserts have unique flavours. Majaos de Murtas, Pan de higo de Turón, Borrachillos de Pampaneira, Buñuelos de chocolate de Lanjarón, Peñascos de Bérchules and the Bizcochada are worth trying. They are made by combining flour, sugar and honey with egg, almonds, fruits and nuts.

Guadix and El Marquesado offer Tocinillo de Guadix, Huevos nevaos, Roscos de vino de Cortes y Graena, and Leche frita Campotéjar to name a few.

The strongest Muslim influence in pastry-making is in the area of the Poniente Granadino. The Roscos and the Huesos de Santo de Loja are worth trying, as are the heavenly pastries made by the nuns of the order of the Clarisas de Alhama de Granada. They include Bienmesabe, Tocinillos de cielo, Roscos de vino and Alfajores.

The Costa Tropical was one of the enclaves to which the Arabs introduced sugar cane in the 8th century. This is a popular ingredient in Moorish pastries. Traditional products include the Torta Real de Motril, with a biscuit base, meringue and almonds; the Cazuela de San Juan made with spiced pumpkin; the Torta de Al-Haju; the Cazuela Mohína from Almuñécar and the Pestiños de Vélez de Benaudalla.

You should also try the traditional pastries from the Sierra Nevada, which include Pestiños, Roscos de Cájar, Papaviejos de Cenes de la Vega, and Huesos de Santo de Monachil.


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