“Mona de Pasqua”, the Catalan Easter cake topped with chocolate figurines
Catalan tradition dictates godfathers to offer a “Mona de Pasqua” to their godsons or goddaughters for Easter Monday. The cake goes with a chocolate sculpture or figurine, which in some cases are true masterpieces. Chocolate houses, chocolate trains or popular cartoons made out of chocolate are some of the creations that top the cake. Catalan patissiers expect to sell 660,000 “mones” this year, although smaller ones due to the economic slowdown.
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 \u201CMona de Pasqua\u201D. 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 \u201Cmones\u201D (the plural of \u201Cmona\u201D) than previous years. In total, they expect to sell some 660,000 \u201Cmones\u201D, according to Joan Turull, the Gild\u2019s 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 \u201CMona de Pasqua\u201D 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 \u201Cmona\u201D cakes, although in the last number of decades chocolate cakes and other creations have been receiving a large part of the \u201Cmona\u201D market share. In addition, chocolate figurines get most of the attention, and some people only buy the chocolate sculpture and skip the cake.
Finally, \u201Cmones\u201D have been adapted to people\u2019s convenience and nowadays \u201Cmones\u201D are offered throughout the entire Easter period. Since many people go on holiday for the period, they give the \u201Cmona\u201D 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 \u201Cmones\u201D are bought and offered, the tradition is very much alive in Catalonia. Some 660,000 \u201Cmones\u201D will be sold this year according to Joan Turull. This means approximately 1 \u201Cmona\u201D cake for every 10 Catalans.