Monday

Which secrets are best kept by Madrid’s nuns?

Nuns strolling through the borough of La Latina

The walls of monasteries and convents have been probably hiding lots of very dark stories for centuries, but also traditional recipes for sweets. Nuns pass on knowledge from generation to generation and still develop new recipes in abbeys everywhere. 

We are smack bang on trend when we have a fully equipped kitchen up to a point where there are gadgets in our cupboards which we will hardly ever use. We have to. Do you want to be the person serving guests the
rich custard base of a Crème brûlée without caramelizing the extra thin sugar crust with a butane torch? Good grace ... dare you ....

In medieval times, only the castles and convents had their own kitchen workshops and the latter became melting pots for confectionery traditions (no matter whether Christian, Arab or Jewish). It was relatively easy for convents to guard recipes closely. Because of their both physical and spiritual isolation they were able to preserve the craftsmanship of pastry making.

In Madrid you still find a few stores where you can buy directly from a convent, and where customers often buy their wares through little holes in the wall. If you are into age old pastry making traditions, try the following ones. Transactions are often built on trust, it is like an honesty bar for biscuits and sweets.

Fewer women want to become a nun, it is so interesting to see that the times are obviously changing. The nuns, who are still up for the challenge, adapt to these new circumstances. Today they have their own websites where they can also sell their products online. 

A guy at a pretty store called El Jardín del Convento at Calle del Cordón 1 that I found a few metres from Plaza de la Villa tells me there even was a TV cooking show dedicated to the traditional cooking of convents and some nuns also publish their own cookbooks. I buy honey, marzipan and jam to take home with me, and all their products are from different convents and monasteries of Spain. 

Not a hole in the wall but a place to hear a few secrets

These are three opportunities to buy sweets at a convent in Madrid. Monasterio de la Visitacion, Calle San Bernardo, 72. Monasterio del Corpus Christi aka Las Carboneras. Plaza del Conde de Miranda, 3. Convento de San Diego, Plaza de San Diego, 7. Alcalá de Henares.

If you would love to buy goods online, try Clarisas de Marchena or Espana en La Mesa


Have you ever bought goods at a convent? So very much looking forward to hear from you.

From Berlin with love

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Greetings stranger. I always try to be myself and to be a tourist as often as I can. I would love to get in contact with lots of hard travelling tourists who love to be out and about as much as I do. I am looking forward to all your comments. Thanks so much in advance.