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"During his six years working for St Helens Council Education Department, Paul was, among other things, our in-house "languages expert", doing the translating, interpreting and liaison with our twin towns in Chalon-Sur-Saône, France, Stuttgart, Germany and El Prat de Llobregat, Spain. His participation has enabled us to maintain strong links with all three towns, particularly in the field of education, where he set up and managed a very successful work experience programme for sixth formers"
Brian Mainwaring, Director of Education, St Helens Council, August 1995

Mantecado – ¿Qué es? PDF
Thursday, 16 December 2010 00:00

Can you bring a kilo of mantecado? said the pastor.

He was ringing me about what we should bring to the Christmas meal at Church on Saturday night. Thinking quickly: manteca is lard, perhaps it's cold meats, like chacinas or jamón serrano.

¿Qué es mantecado exactamente? I asked.

Es un tipo de dulce amasado con manteca que comemos los andaluces en la época de Navidad. – a typical Andalusian Christmas sweetmeat made with lard (so I was partly right … hmfff!)

So, what is mantecado exactly?

Similar to the polvorón, it is a type of Andalusian shortbread biscuit made of 50% wheat flour, 25% lard and 25% sugar. Not part of a calorie-controlled diet, then!

Mantecados come in all shapes, sizes and flavours, for example you can add lemon, cinnamon, almond or coconut.

Overall in Andalucía there are about 70 factories which form part of a syndicate that produces polvorones and mantecados and they’re on sale everywhere at this time of year.

Should have no trouble getting my kilo for the Church dinner, then.

Wonder what other culinary treats are in store for us on Saturday night?

© Paul Whitelock


For a longer article about mantecado and its origins and history, click here.

For a mantecado recipe, click here.


Tags: mantecado, Christmas meal, manteca, lard, Navidad, polvorón, mantecado recipe, Paul Whitelock,


Paul Whitelock

Paul is a Joint Honours graduate in Spanish and German, a qualified teacher (PGCE) and has a Member of the Institute of Linguists (MIL) qualification.

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