Turrón, marzipan, the 12 grapes, Sol

December 20, 2012

Spanish Turrón (Nougat). Sweet Arab Heritage in Spain

turronTurrón is a clear example of the Spanish gastronomic inheritance from Arab cuisine. The honey, sugar, almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts and pistachios which the Moors used in large amounts in their pastries continue to be the basic ingredients. Turrón and marzipan are the most typical Christmas confections in Spain, a gastronomic tradition that has persisted for over five centuries, as shown by historical documents recording turrón production in the town of Jijona (Alicante, Valencian Community) in the 16th century.

Jijona in Alicante, where the Moors planted many almond and other fruit trees in the 8th century, is the birthplace of turrón, the ideal location, considering that the local lavender, rosemary and thyme honey already enjoyed an excellent reputation. (Source)

The Twelve Grapes

uvastime(Sp. Las doce uvas de la suerte, “The twelve grapes of luck”) is a Spanish tradition that dates back from at least 1895 but which became consolidated in 1909. The tradition consists in eating a grape with each bell strike at midnight of December 31. According to the tradition, that leads to a year of prosperity. It’s a fun activity — both watching people eat the grapes, and eating the grapes yourself. People laugh and choke, and strangely enough, don’t actually die! The twelve grapes are linked to the Puerta del Sol tower clock, where this tradition started and from where the change of year is always broadcast.  (More)

15M Movement

Since 15 May 20122, Sol is famous because of the Occupy Movement, known in Spain as the 15M.
Underground station of Sol. Sol-utions Square. The Revolution needs to be feminist, or there simply won’t be a revolution. Feminist women in Madrid created this banner at the beginning of the movement when they had to confront sexist reactions — insult and shoving (see more) — when they posed that the initial name of the movement “indignados” (outraged) was in the masculine, and did not make women’s participation visible. Then the movement started using “Marchas indignadas” (outraged marches), which was OK. But finally, the name 15M prevailed.


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