Catalans will eat 1.7m Sant Joan sweets
Sales for the ‘coca de Sant Joan’ cake might even see a 2% increase since the holiday falls on a Saturday
In Catalonia, a holiday isn’t just for celebration – it’s also an excuse to eat delicious food. Indeed, each occasion usually has a corresponding dish, and Sant Joan, Catalonia’s Saint John solstice festival of fire, is no different.
There are other, less firey elements to the celebrations between June 23 and 24. One of them is the traditional cake eaten on the eve of the holiday, the ‘coca de Sant Joan.’ This is a sweet flatbread with nuts, candied fruit, or powdered sugar – giving the pastry a bejeweled look.
This year, it’s projected that close to 1.7 million ‘coques’ will be sold and consumed. Sales might even increase some 2%, due to the fact that, this year, Sant Joan falls on a Saturday. The president of the Barcelona and province Pastry Chef Guild, Elies Miró, explained that, because “it’s a holiday,” “starting in the early morning people already have time” to purchase one. “We think it’ll be a good Sant Joan,” concluded Miró.
A sweet initiative
It will be a good Sant Joan, and not only in terms of economy. In the Lleida region, to the west of Barcelona, a workshop was set up for people with Down syndrome to make their own ‘coques,’ which, then, they could take home.
The event was organized by the Baker’s Guild of the Lleida region. Its president, Pilar Marqués, elegized the benefits of handmade ‘coques.’ Those in the supermarkets are “made with thousands of ingredients.” This, sustained Marqués, can’t be called a ‘coca de Sant Joan,’ which, according to the baker, “only has egg, milk, flour, and not much else.”
Salty, sweet, everything in between
The highest sellers will continue to be the classic version, made with brioche, pine nuts, and cream – followed by the traditional pork rind version. But there are plenty of other options for the more adventurous – like mascarpone, mango, sausage, tuna – even in ice cream form. For those looking to try one, the price remains at around 16 to 35 euros.