The ‘Mona’, the everlasting Easter sweet tradition
Artisanal cakes given by godfathers monopolize Easter Monday in Catalonia, with 700,000 units expected to be sold
Processions, prayers, fasting, benedictions, and other traditions related to Easter that were once as popular as Christmas in Catalonia are no longer so successful among the younger generations with the decrease of interest for religious matters. Yet the ‘Mona de Pasqua’ stays –and looks as strong as ever.
It is an Easter cake traditionally given by godfathers to godchildren, also sold by families, and it still monopolizes Easter Monday, unconcerned about the new times in which Catholicism plays much of a secondary role in everyday life. The reason the ‘Mona’ is an everlasting tradition might be that it bears no evident links with religion and, above all, that is sweeter than any of the other Easter centuries-old traditions.
The Mona de Pasqua, a sponge cake usually topped with chocolate and figures, is traditionally eaten on Easter Monday. As times evolve, however, so have versions of the cake’s toppings, which in the old days were as many eggs as years the child were, then became a chocolate egg, and now it is any kind of figures. This year some of the biggest sellers include characters from Star Wars, Disney, and even Barcelona football players.
Prices of these personalized cakes can vary from 20 to 100 euros. “If the product is good, the customer understands that the price is different from what is more widely on offer,” explained Elies Miró of the Barcelona and Province Pastry Association.
With artisanal Easter cakes customers can choose to personalize them to their liking. “As we are the ones that make the chocolate, not factories, we can make the figure the customer wants,” said Josep González of the Association of Aritsanal Bakers. “This is something that cannot be found in other places that are not artisanal like us,” he went on to say. This year, bakers expect to sell 700,000 artisanal Easter cakes, marking an increase of 1% compared to 2017.