Barcelona (ACN).- According to Catalan tradition, the Easter Bunny skips Catalonia. However, kids do not skip chocolate for Easter. In Catalonia, children get chocolate figurines that top a special cake: the “Mona de Pasqua”. This sweet gift is traditionally offered by godfathers on Easter Monday, although nowadays the day depends more on convenience than on tradition. This year, the Patissier Gild of Catalonia expects to sell a similar amount of “mones” (the plural of “mona”) than previous years. In total, they expect to sell some 660,000 “mones”, according to Joan Turull, the Gild’s Chairman. However, cakes and figurines may be smaller because of the current economic climate, explains Turull, a trend that started two years ago when the economic crisis began to bite. The chocolate sculpture that tops the special cake can take very different shapes and sizes. They range from small chocolate eggs to one-metre-high castles made entirely out of chocolate. In addition, traditional figurines such as houses and animals are joined by Barça players or cartoons, such as Hello Kitty, Doraemon or Rapunzel.
The “Mona de Pasqua” tradition is linked to Easter eggs. Godfathers used to give boiled eggs to their godsons or goddaughters for Easter Monday. Then, it evolved and the boiled eggs were joined by a simple cake filled with marzipan. However, Barcelona patissiers made the tradition sophisticated and started to make chocolate eggs, which were soon joined by other figurines. Besides, the marzipan cake found a competitor: a sweet fruit cake, filled with apricot jam, and decorated with coloured feathers and toy chicks. The tradition spread across Catalonia and Catalan speaking countries, such as the Valencian Community and the Balearic Islands. Furthermore, chocolate figurines began to become more popular and year after year they became richer and more diverse. Nowadays, the marzipan and sweet fruit are the traditional “mona” cakes, although in the last number of decades chocolate cakes and other creations have been receiving a large part of the “mona” market share. In addition, chocolate figurines get most of the attention, and some people only buy the chocolate sculpture and skip the cake.
Finally, “mones” have been adapted to people’s convenience and nowadays “mones” are offered throughout the entire Easter period. Since many people go on holiday for the period, they give the “mona” before leaving or normally upon their return, explains the Chairman of the Patissier Gild of Catalonia, Joan Turull.
Despite the great variety of cakes, chocolate figurines, combinations of both elements and the day “mones” are bought and offered, the tradition is very much alive in Catalonia. Some 660,000 “mones” will be sold this year according to Joan Turull. This means approximately 1 “mona” cake for every 10 Catalans.