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Bakeries in Catalonia hope to return to pre-pandemic sales, but a reduction in size will make ‘Mones de Pasqua’ less profitable
One of Catalonia’s strongest Easter traditions is the ‘Mona,’ a sponge cake neatly decorated with whipped cream and nuts, often featuring a chocolate centrepiece of an egg or a figure from popular culture such as Goku, Harry Potter, or Baby Yoda.
‘Mones de Pasqua’ were traditionally gifted by godfathers to godchildren during family meetings, serving as dessert to the often crowded reunions.
At a time when social gatherings are limited to six people outdoors and four people indoors due to coronavirus restrictions, bakers have been forced to adapt Easter cakes to current circumstances, notably reducing the size of the average ‘Mona’.
"Hopefully we can turn over a new page and, despite the restrictions and social bubbles which will make family meals smaller, hopefully we can still enjoy Easter"
Elies Miró · President of Catalonia's Bakers' Trade
However, they are hopeful that sales will return to pre-pandemic levels after a disastrous year in 2020.
"Last year was strange, full of fears and uncertainty," said Elies Miró, the president of Catalonia’s Bakers’ Trade. "Hopefully we can turn over a new page and, despite the restrictions and social bubbles which will make family meals smaller, hopefully we can still enjoy Easter."
Bakers hope to sell around 700,000 ‘mones de pasqua’, nearing the figures from 2019, but expect a 15-20% fall in earnings due to the reduced size of cakes.
While restrictions on social gatherings were recently tightened ahead of the Easter holiday period, Catalan authorities loosened some measures, such as the end of the county-level lockdown.
Miró believes that bakers in areas with a high number of second residences will benefit from the lifting of the mobility restrictions. "I’m thinking about the bakeries in the Pyrenees and the coast, which normally have many visitors, and the county-level restrictions would have really harmed them," said Miró.