TRADITIONS: TORRIJAS

In France, pain perdu. In the UK and Germany they are called something similar: the poor knights of Windsor and Arme Ritter, respectively. In Portugal they go by rabanadas, though they are more common around Christmastime. In the US, they are known as french toast, the Swiss call them fotzelschnitten, the Austrians, profesen, and bundás kenyér in Hugary. Wentelteejfe in the Netherlands.

Torrijas are a traditional Spanish delicacy most commonly seen around Easter.

However you’d like to call them, the moment we see torrijas means that Easter week is here! All over Spain, the city streets are filled with insence and the traditional saeta songs, float bearers or costaleros, and pristinely dressed families waiting to see the processions. Meanwhile, bakeries compete for the most delicious version of this dessert.

These sweets, made from hard baguette bread, eggs, sugar an milk or wine, popped up in Europe some time around the 1600s to soften post-partum woes for new mothers. It’s not yet clear as to why they were later related to Easter, but it has been said that, given their high caloric content and density, they were known to give energy to those weaked by times of austerity during Lent.

At Marbella Club, both the Beach Club and breakfast buffets now serve the traditional (and more risky variations) torrija that won’t leave you indifferent. Below you’ll find the Marbella Club recipe. Which one would you choose?

From top to bottom: The traditional milk torrijas; Wine-infused torrijas; traditional torrijas sprinkled with sugar and cinammon; and torrijas infused with orange peel and cinammon, served with honey.

Traditional Torrija Recipe

Makes 20.

– Baguette bread from the day before, cut into 1-2cm slices
– 1 litre of milk
– 100 grams of sugar
– 3 eggs
– Olive oil for fying

In a small saucepan, bring the milk and sugar to a boil. Let cool before soaking the bread in it, otherwise, they will evenually break.

Leave the slices soaking in the cooled milk for at least an hour or until entirely soaked. Beat the eggs in a bowl and soak the slices in the eggs on both sides. Fry in a pan with hot olive oil, making sure to flip regularly so they are evenly cooked. Place on a plate with paper towels so that the excess oil is absorbed.

Optional: Mix 100 g of sugar and ground cinammon and sprinkle over the hot torrijas.

To make wine torrijas, simply substitute the milk infusion with a sweet or red wine (65ml) and add water, orange peel and a cinammon stick. Let the alcohol evaporate, soak the slices in eggs and fry until golden. You can also pour a bit of honey to decorate.

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