Sabores que evocan a la Navidad
Speaking of mantecados and polvorones is to speak about Christmas. This product is really connected to this special time of the year. Mantecados and polvorones are sweets that were present in every table: a delicacy for every one, regardless of their social class.
Mantecados are original from Andalucía and their main ingredient is lard. In Spain, there are different regions that specialised in making this sweet, but the main production are is located in Andalucía, specially in the villages of Antequera anda Estepa. The mantecado made in Antequera is the typical mantecado from Málaga. In this village, they produce tons of this product. There are a lot of varieties that use different ingredients and have different shape and flavour.
Some of the most popular mantecados are: lemon mantecado, chocolate mantecado, almond mantecado, puff pastry mantecado or cinnamon mantecado.
Polvorón from Málaga
The polvorón is variety of the mantecado. The main differences are its shape (the polvorón is longer and less round than the mantecado) and the ingredients: the polvorón uses almond bits and is covered in sugar. Like in the case of mantecados, a big part of the production of polvorones in Spain comes from Antequera.
Roscos de vino from Málaga
Another product that is very consummed during Christmas are ‘roscos de vino’. Roscos de vino are made in the shape of little rings and their ingredients are flour, oil, sugar… and a touch of wine. They are normally covered in powdered sugar, which gives them an even white colour. Some of them, however, have sugar just on top of it. The roscos de vino from Málaga are one of the most important and popular product in the baking of the city. This product has become so popular in Málaga that they can be enjoyed all year, being one of the first products of the local gastronomy that tourists want to taste.
Mantecados and polvorones originally come from Andalucía. The fact that they contain lard proves that this recipe could not have been taken from the Arab period in Spain. The city of Antequera, together with Estepa, was a pioneer in the production of this product. Despite of its historic tradition that has travelled from generation to generation in Christmas, mantecados are a relatively young sweet: it first started to be made two centuries ago.
Mantecados are specially fragile one their package has been openend: they can break into thousand pieces and it is hard to eat them in one bite. However, there is a special trick to keep the sweet intact before tasting it. The secret hides in pressing them with the fist before opening the package. Some parents, as a joke, told their children that his trick was used to make them more flavourful. On the other hand, roscos de vino lose all their sugar once you bite them. The key is to keep one hand under the mouth so as not to stain your clothes.
La receta de los roscos de vino malagueños puede hacerse de muchas maneras. Hay quien prefiere hacerlos fritos, mientras que otros prefieren prepararlos al horno. Algunos los embadurnan de azúcar de arriba abajo, mientras que otros espolvorean solo la superficie. Pero el verdadero secreto de este producto está en la gran cantidad de vinos y denominaciones de origen que se pueden disfrutar en Málaga. Esto hace que cada receta de roscos de vino contenga unos sabores propios y característicos inconfundibles.