Sweet Treats for All Saints’ Day
All Saints’ Day, is celebrated on the night of October 31 and all day November 1. It is a Christian festival that has become more famous in recent years because of its US variant with costumes and music. However, the more classic version of the holiday continues to triumph in many places, Spain being one of them.
One of the most notable characteristics of All Saints’ Day is the sweets that are typical to the celebration. Some of the most important ones are huesos de santo, buñuelos de viento and panellets.
It is not a coincidence that at this time of year along with the appearance of these sweets in bakeries throughout the country, they are the sweets most widely used to commemorate the holiday.
In the weeks leading up to the holiday, the almond harvest takes place. Almonds are the nuts used to make marzipan, which is the main ingredient in almost all of these sweets. It is thought that the use of marzipan for these types of sweets dates back to the 17th century, and is linked to the al-Andalus era.
Huesos de santos are sweets made out of white marzipan, molded into long, thin shapes that really look like bones, and are very appropriate for the holiday.
Buñuelos de viento are made with flour, eggs and butter or lard. They’re connection with All Saints’ Day comes from their origin in the Jewish holiday Hanukah; the Christian tradition adopted the recipe for this November celebration because of the proximity of the dates.
When it comes to panellets, people have been eating these sweets as blessed food after certain Christian celebrations since the 18th century. Thanks to their heavy caloric value, they were also good for the night of the dead. Even so, it is only a theory, refuted by those who consider their real origin to be Arabic with their elaboration with almonds responding to fact that they are made around the time of the almond harvest, just like the huesos de santo.