Easter cake, a 75.000 years old tradition to celebrate Spring abundance
Decorating eggs and eggshells is a very old practice. Painted ostrich eggs and furnishings dating back approximately 75,000 years were found in several caves in southern Africa. Yes, yes, 75,000 years. In Sumeria and Egypt, 5,000 years ago, it was tradition to decorate ostrich eggs or make gold or silver eggs and place them in tombs. Throughout Europe there are traditions of games, offerings and decorations with cooked and painted eggs. Usually bright colors and red.
It is believed that the origin of the tradition of eating eggs at the end of winter dates from the Ice Age. After a hard winter, when there were no more provisions, when spring arrived, migratory birds arrived from the tropics. When the birds laid eggs, the humans could feed until they returned to collect fruits and hunt other animals.
Where does the rabbit or hare tradition come from and the Easter eggs?
The peoples of northern Europe, the Celts and Scandinavians had the hare as a symbol of ascension, of fertility, associated with the goddess Easter or Phoenician Astarte, the mother goddess. She was the goddess of light and spring, of fertility and renewal. There is a German legend that tells that a poor woman, could not give cakes to her children and hid painted eggs in the garden. The children, looking for them, saw a rabbit and believed that the eggs had been placed by the rabbit.
What is the Easter “mona” cake?
Traditionally, the Easter “mona” (monkey) cake is a spongy sweet that was usually eaten accompanied by chocolate, hard boiled egg and dry sausage. It is a tradition that symbolizes that Lent (winter) and its abstinences have ended.
According to the Costumari Catalán de Joan Amades, the “mona” cake (monkey) is already mentioned with this name in the fifteenth century, although the dictionary Gazophylacivum Catalano-Latinum, by Joan Lacavalleria, published in Barcelona in 1696, “mono” still has only a purely zoological definition. But the Dictionary of the Castilian language, of the Royal Spanish Academy of the Language, already offers in its edition of the year 1783 the following definition: “Catalonia, Valencia and Murcia.” The cake or doghnut that is baked with eggs laid in it with peel by Pascua de Flores, which in other parts of the Iberian Peninsula they call hornazo “.
As always, we like stories and legends. There are several hypotheses about the origin of the term and tradition. Maybe us human like to celebrate. Here you have them in order from oldest to most modern:
- Muniqués: were celebrations dedicated to the goddess Artemisia in ancient Greece.
- Muna: in ancient Arabic, it was the leasing of lands paid in kind, such as with cakes, boiled eggs and other agricultural products; means gift or food.
- Munda, in Latin plural de mundum, baskets that the Romans offered to the goddess Ceres during the month of April, which contained sweets and were decorated.
- Pascorals: celebrations that the Roman shepherds celebrated with cakes.
- Beltene: celtic party that was celebrated in the month of May and where they consumed roscones with eggs.
There are many types and shapes, although before they were generally round. Traditionally it was made with as many eggs as the child had, although the monkey never exceeded twelve eggs, because it was only given until the children made the first communion (in the past it was 12 years old). In the Valencian Country and Murcia, however, did not evolve and still maintains the original form of a bun (tonya) with the hard boiled egg on top.
It is tradition that the godfather or grandfather give the monkey to his godson and grandchildren on Easter Sunday or Easter. Easter Monday is a tradition that families or friends would meet and eat together.
What “monas” will you find here?
You can choose between several possibilities:
- Fair trade chocolate Mona cake: without sugar, without gluten, without yeast, 100, 500, 1000 or 1500 gr
- Fruit or chocolate Mona cake: without sugar, without gluten, without yeasts, (with or without oxalates) and with as many dolls as there are years to whom it is given away.
- Fair trade chocolate egg: black chocolate eggs in different sizes.
For more information if you’re interested, please visit the product web www.pastelvegano.com.
See you soon!