Easter here in Barcelona doesn’t center around the Easter Bunny, and you won’t find a single peep to eat – gasp! The bunny doesn’t even make an appearance; there are no baskets draped in cellophane grass, no egg hunts, no plastic eggs, and absolutely no Cadbury cream eggs – double gasp! Easter traditions in Catalonia, Spain, are quite different from our holidays back home, yet fortunately for me, the tradition is very rich in chocolate.
Locals celebrate the age-old tradition known as the Mona de Pasqua (Easter Cake). Over the years, the cake itself has gone through quite a number of transitions, yet Catalans still consider it central to the Easter celebration. From humble brioche beginnings to celebrity chef culinary craft, the traditional Mona de Pasqua has turned into elegant haute couture.
While the origins of the word mona are unclear, some suggest that the word may have come from Morocco and translates to “gift.” Dating back to the 15th century, the cake was traditionally a large ring-shaped brioche filled with cream, jam or marzipan. It was typically made at home and decorated with boiled eggs.