Best Places in Spain and Portugal to try Convent Dulces
|Santa Clara Yemas - Courtesy of El Torno Convent Dulces|
Following on with our Convent Sweets series, here are the best places for hungry cyclists to buy some Convent Cookies on their bike trip in Spain or Portugal.
|Nuns at the Convento San Diego - Courtesy of Alhama.com|
Although you are on a cycling trip in Spain and Portugal, and somehow trying to keep your form, don’t pass up the opportunities to get off your bike and find a convent to pray they haven´t run out of their delicious baking indulgences.All our Spanish or Portuguese bike trips go through towns or cities, where you can have this religious experience but a few of our favourites along the way are:
Cycle to our home town, Alhama de Granada and visit the Convento!
, as you exit this rural town on Calle Salmerones, is the 17th century Convento de San Diego where the small group of less than 10 Clarisa nuns, trundle out of their kitchen some tasty biscuits which are on sale, hours vary, from their front door.
If short on time and their door is closed, these delicious delicacies, are also on sale in town at the local shop, La Casa de Artigi (Calle Fuerte), which stocks their array of baking, such as their round roscos biscuits flavoured with anis / honey or cinnamon, sugar dusted Polverones biscuits, lenguas de gatos (thin cookies tongue shaped) and many more.
|Explore Granada on your Bike Trip and Find Some Convent Sweets|
Find Sweets in Granada on your Bike Trip
Hungry cyclists are spoilt for choice here and one of the oldest is in the Realejo area, which is very central and was the first Christian Convent in the city after the Reconquest, (built in 1501) is the Comendadoras de Santiago (Calle Santiago). Recommend by a Granaína “de pura cepa” (a woman in the knowing from Granada), their sweet fruits are tops!
If you happen to be wandering around in Granada's Albaicín, looking for that picture perfect shot of the Alhambra, don´t forget to pop into the Convento de la Concepción to try out their rosquillas y pastas (pastries) which are always recommended by locals. As well, in the same area but down by the Darro, so very central is the Convento de Zafra (est. 1520), where the Dominican nuns have a great selection of goodies to try out with their bizcochadas, trufas de chocolate, cuajadas (milk curd), huesos de santo (mazapán pastries).
Savour and Devour Sevilla's Cookies
For your first experience try the super sweet egg yolk convections (yemas de San Leandro) dished up by the nuns of Convento de San Leandro. The ladies living in this 13th-century convent (situated in the Plaza de San Ildefonso) make sure they use a lot of sugar to make these little babies up. A lot. Half a kilo is the basic order and runs about 13 Euros.
|Visit the Monasterio de Santa Paula|
The Monasterio de Santa Paula (Calle Sta. Paula, 11), is another one to add to your Convent stops. This 15th-century convent (which also has a religious art gallery collection to view) has some delicious treats. These nuns are not living in the medieval times though and have a very nice website with photo gallery and an online store. So there is absolutely no excuse.
If you are too nervous to knock on the Convent Door and negotiate the language? The small online store, El Torno in Sevilla, takes the fear out of it all and offers a huge selection of Convent goodies to buy.
Tempting Cakes in Toledo to Try
Not far away in Toledo, another hot spot for tourists, is the Dulces Artesanos Convento de San Antonio - Franciscanas (Calle Santo Tome, 27). Again, tucked away amongst the medieval streets and history, you can find this place which have a very wide range of lovelies including marzipan, which is a specialty here, Almendrados (Almond made cookies), Bombones, Roscos (circular pastries dusted with icing sugar) and yemas.
Get Morish in Madrid after your bike ride
While in Madrid, wander over to the Monastery of Corpus Christi (Las Carbonaras), where this cloistered order delivers some tasty almond cookies in trim boxes to enjoy.
Choose from the price list, ring the buzzer to let them know what you wish, put your money on the lazy susan, and swinging around comes your package of goodies with your change. It is a trust transaction which makes the whole experience so charming
Let's go to Lisbon and cycle!
Ok, cheating a bit here but the most definitive pastry of Lisbon is the Pastéis de Nata (or Pastéis de Belém) which were created by Catholic monks at the Jerónimos Monastery in the district of Belém, Lisbon and today are eaten in the thousands by Lisboetas and tourists. You will find them all over Portugal and they are always pretty good especially with a strong pingo coffee.
If you are cycling touring around Portugal, make your way to Alcobaca, 100km north of Lisbon, and across from the monastery is the famous Pastelaria Alcoa, (Praca 25 de Abril #44). If you love convent doces this is the place for you but they also have opened a pastry shop in downtown Lisbon’s Chiado district too, so popular is their baking!
It is very close to the Convent Carmo (Largo do Carmo), the cathedral, destroyed in the 1755 earthquake and which stands as a testament to this city’s resilience of this tragedy where over 100,000 people died.
Both the Convent in Alcobaca and its shop, have an amazing array of baked goods. These eggy sugary treats are varied and have the reputation of tempting even the strictest diabetic. Their website alone, will make you think you died and went to heaven!
Conventual Sweets are not Conventional and it is a pleasure to try them all out on your cycling trip in Spain or Portugal!
Forget about the calories you can do the penance on the bike later.
Most of our Self Guided Moorish Andalucia, Blue Coasts, or White Villages of Andalucia, all pass through towns, where you can visit Convents, as do our Guided Bike Tours in Spain Coastal Camino & Enchanted Andalucia,.
In Portugal during our Amazing Alentejo, Blue Coast or Porto to Lisbon, where you can get off your bike and indulge yourself with these temptresses’ creations. In the many small towns, you will find opportunities to have some lovely desserts and traditional cooking. Always delicious, a wonderful cultural tradition to partake in and you can always cycle those calories off!
Have any others to add to the list?
We would love to hear any suggestions.