In the build up to Holy Week, alongside the chocolate rabbits, eggs and special honey sweets wrapped in white paper, delicious pastries also start to appear in the bakeries and cake shops.
While Easter week in Menorca is a time of serious processions and religious commitment, Easter Day (El Domingo de Resurrección) it is a day of happiness to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus. Easter is a time for enjoyment and feasting with family and friends and, as in the UK, it is customary to eat roast lamb as well as indulge in rich foods, chocolate and cakes.
The following dishes and snacks are traditionally consumed during Holy Week and on Easter Sunday:
Potaje de Vigilia: This typical dish is a fish stew made with chickpeas, spinach and cod. Some recipes leave out the cod while others use plenty of garlic sautéed in olive oil as well as leeks.
Sopa de Ajo: Another prominent dish is a soup made from garlic, oil, bread, water and eggs. Again, sometimes eggs are added to cook in the heat of the soup.
Hornazo: This is a sort of meat pie made with pork loin, spicy chorizo sausage or ham and hard-boiled eggs. Depending on region, some versions contain hard-boiled eggs as a primary ingredient. In other areas, a Bollo de Hornazo is a sweet, dry bread made with egg and aniseed or almonds and decorated with hard-boiled eggs or glazed with beaten egg and decorated with hundreds and thousands.
Torrijas: These consist of slices of bread, soaked in a mixture of whisked eggs and milk (similar to French toast), fried both sides in olive oil and then topped with cinnamon and sometimes honey and sprinkled with sugar.
Pestiños: These are little sweet fritters made from a dough fried in olive oil and then sprinkled with honey or sugar. Sesame is often added to the dough mixture.??
Rosquillas de Semana Santa: Special Easter doughnuts, sometimes flavoured with organge zest.
Bartolillos Madrilenos: Originally a Madrid specialty, as the name implies, these are triangular shaped fried pastries filled with custard of crème patissiere and sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon.
Bunuelos: Small, round sweet fritters made from a light dough fried in olive oil and filled with custard or cream and dusted with cinnamon or sometimes aniseed. They can also be savory and filled with cheese, ham or tuna.
Passtissets: Crunchy shortbread style biscuits covered in icing sugar.
La Mona de Pascua: This is a special Easter cake originating from the 15th century and is traditionally given by a godparent to their godchild as a gift on Easter day. Originally it was a small round pastry or cake, often made with almonds and topped with hard boiled eggs. Today ‘Monas’ are much more elaborately decorated with feathers, chocolate eggs, rabbits and toys.