Castilla y León is not just a gastronomic destination for lovers of meat and legume spooning: it is a paradise for those with a sweet tooth. All the regions of Spain treasure typical sweets and desserts, but the Castilian-Leonese sweet shop It is not claimed enough, nor are its humble delicacies as well known as others. Just a walk around segovia to verify that the confectionery tradition continues to fill shop windows and tempt passers-by of all ages.
It is true that there is a most famous local sweet and occasionally replicated in other parts of the country, the popular Segovian punch that inevitably gets the most attention from the media, guides and claims. With a name that is misleading, because it has little alcoholic beverage, although it is a well-soaked sweet, not drunk.
Created by the confectioner fruits garcia martin around 1926 and keeping the Confectionery El Alcazar the original formula, such is the fame of this layered cake that today it is prepared by a multitude of pastry shops and workshops. It is inevitable, then, that the punch appears in almost all shop windows, with its complete version to be eaten in portions or, more modern, individualbut today we would like to focus on the other delicacies that accompany it.
The huge confectionery that is born from a handful of ingredients
It is interesting to review the basic ingredients that usually shape the most traditional sweets, not only from Segovia or its Community, but from the whole country. With the logical differences left by the historical-cultural heritage, the same components are repeated over and over again, which, with few exceptions, bear fruit in the most varied forms, textures and flavors.
The same happens in the Segovian recipe book, whose confectionery pantry is a reflection of the very agricultural tradition of the area and of the rural life of the peninsular interior, with cold and long winters. Wheat flour, eggs, sugar and butter are usually the ingredients that are repeated the most, adding olive oil and aromatic liqueurs such as anise or brandy.
The lard it is the predominant fat, as is necessary in a land where this animal still plays a key role in its economy, generating a strong industry of sausages and derivatives, without forgetting the importance of roast suckling pig as a lure. The typical olive oil has also gained a place, especially derived from the obligations imposed by Lent, but butter and other dairy products are less popular, more typical of cowboy regions, as is the case throughout the Cantabrian coast up to Galicia. The exception of the Community, of course, we have it in Soria.
From the proper combination and proportion of these ingredients, together with the application of various traditional techniques, is how the entire range of sweets that fill the counters and shop windows of the various Segovian confectioneriesclaiming the attention of tourists and local residents, living more and more with more current and universal temptations.
From the rosquilla de palo to soplillos and mantecados
The streets of the center of Segovia are easily explored on foot and invite you to get lost a bit among the most intricate alleyss that still keep part of the medieval framework that is breathed in many of its corners, beyond tourism and crowds. And on these walks it is inevitable to come across more than one pastry shop, highlighting the most striking ones, of course, on the routes most traveled by visitors.
Along with the pastry products that long ago invaded confectioneries throughout the country, and that few are true artisans, such as croissants, Neapolitan, Swiss or chocolate palm trees, these places maintain the most typical confectionery repertoire. There is no lack of assortments of tea cakes, today somewhat old but which in the past they denoted class and finessechocolates, caramels and candies, but we are more interested in regional specialties.
Because, before the vigilantes from other provinces jump, logically Segovia shares products with many of its neighbors, thus finding very similar sweets in Valladolid, Palencia, Zamora or León, sometimes with different names or slight differences in recipe or appearance. After all, the entire area shares the same historical culture, and culinary exchange is inevitable.
Perhaps one of the most famous products that attract the most attention are the stick donuts, closely linked to Easter but today easy to find all year. They can also be given in a simple O shape, a donut, easier to make, but in Segovia, as in other towns, they boast more of an intricate design that undoubtedly makes them stand out to the eyes, and it is a little sad to break them imagining the hands that gave it shape
It is a most peculiar mass, hard, brittle and dry, remembering white bread that is also popular in these lands. It has lard and anise, which leaves its unmistakable aroma, but they are not very sweet, which encourages you to devour it whole. Of course, she undoubtedly asks for some liquid to accompany or dip, being perfect for breakfast or snack, and an exceptional couple for hot chocolate.
This dry texture is often repeated in the typical Segovian sweet shop. We see it curiously in another product with a misleading name, the Mantecados, which are not very similar to those that we all visualize associated with Christmas. Oval in shape, flat and hard, they are covered by a thick and thick layer of sugar icing, which provides sweetness and their characteristic white color. They are similar to the famous gate, and have a floury texture that goes very well with black coffee or liqueur. In other places they are known as sneakers.
The blowoutswhich should not be confused with sighs, are also curious in their appearance, being made in this case with oil instead of butter. Aniseed, brandy and lemon the aromas of a very light dough complete, like a thick inflated donut with an intricate surface, covered in icing sugar. Its interior is hard but fragile, dry and porous, melting in the mouth.
Once again, the simple but elegant white sugar icing decorates another typical sweet from the area, the blinda donut without hole also known as fluff. Another dry and hard dough with a very smooth texture, shaped like a flat cake with a cracked surface, creating a nice irregular pattern with the frosting, which in other pastry shops is applied as a lattice.
The typical ones are more known Fried donuts, national sweet par excellence that could not be missing with its Segovian version, which have also exceeded the Easter calendar to be prepared all year round. They are fried but very light and not at all greasy, again with a dough of butteranise, cinnamon and brandy, crowned with the already typical white and dry sugar glaze.
The gourmand repertoire is completed with confectionery specialties such as crunchy or crunchy almonds and dried fruits, cocas de piñón, Americanos or merlitonsand their own versions of sweets spread throughout other regions such as rosettes, the bartolillos, the wafers or the pestiños. Products that coexist with the most seasonal of Lent, All Saints or Christmas.
It is a pleasure to see how the usual sweet shop remain firm and without the intention of giving in to trends coming from abroad, because there is nothing sadder than visiting any town and finding clones of what you already know in your own city or abroad. Make a getaway through Spain to end up having a snack croissant roll or green tea macarons seems like nonsense.
As said, long live traditional pastry, and may there be many more generations that continue to sweeten our lives.
Segovia (GUIARAMA COMPACT – Spain)
Segovian pastry shops to keep in mind
Pastry Aqueduct. Cervantes Street, 22.
Confectionery El Alcazar. Plaza Mayor, 13.
lemon and mint. Calle Isabel la Católica, 2.
The Orange Blossom. Toledo Street, 4.
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