One of the traditions most enjoyed by children is the Easter “mona”, a deep-rooted tradition in Catalonia.
Today we can find cakes of all shapes and sizes, with chocolate as the main ingredient; but it was not always like this. Do you know where this tradition comes from and what the first “mona” were like?
Origin of the Monas Easter Cake
We know that the origin of the word “mona” comes from the Arabic term “munna” which means a gift to be put in the mouth. The first documented references to the “monas” are from the 15th century, when they were made of common bread and circular in shape. Although there is evidence that time before they were already offered by the Moors to their lords at the end of Lent, between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday. Moment at which the fast and abstinence from some foods ended.
Over time, the tradition of the “monas”changed and became a gift from godparents to their godchildren. They were still made of bread and were decorated with hard-boiled eggs (symbol of fertility), with as many as the child’s age. It was tradition that it was repeated every Easter until the child was twelve years old.
From the traditional mona to the modern mona
In the 19th century, the tradition turned upside down when master confectioners began to change boiled -eggs for chocolate eggs.
Cocoa was beginning to be used as the main ingredient to make the “mona”, and they were decorated with figurines. Very different from the traditional ones and much more similar to the ones we know today, in different shapes, colors, sizes and themes. Such was the fame of those new chocolate “monas” that in 1904 the first exhibition of “monas” was held in the Ciutadella Park in Barcelona.
Great pastry chef: masters of the chocolate
The Escribà pastry shop is known to all, as great master chocolatiers specializing in “monas”. Escribà is a true artist of chocolate cakes who has appeared on television and has turned his creations into a cultural and gastronomic claim in Barcelona. In addition, he is the son of Antoni Escribà, who in 1950 became one of the biggest transgressors in the world of chocolate.
Another of the greats is Albert Balcells, who in 1984 made a “mona” in the shape of the Statue of Liberty in New York to illustrate the cover of National Geographic magazine.
Today, one of the most representative is Enric Rovira, who makes impressive Gaudí’s architecture masterpieces.
Without a doubt, chocolate Easter cakes have become a sweet Easter tradition in Catalonia, which is why the Aerobús blog encourages you to come to Barcelona to enjoy this great gastronomic event.
Travel with the comfort of the plane, which we take care of taking you to the city center in just 35 minutes. Just like when you return, so you don’t have to worry about being late, just enjoy your trip. Buy your Aerobús tickets and enjoy the sweet Easter in Catalonia with our delicious chocolate cakes.