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Putting the traditional Roscón de Reyes to the taste test
Friday, December 31, 2021 @ 9:52 AM

Every year, to celebrate Epiphany, people in Spain consume somewhere in the region of 30 million Roscones de Reyes - traditional brioche-style, ring-shaped cakes often baked with a citrus peel and/or orange blossom water, and topped with sugar, almonds and candied fruit. Recipes and formats for this traditional King Cake vary, but almost all conceal a 'fava' bean or a figurine, often said to represent the Christ Child. After the cake is cut, whoever gets the fava is believed to be blessed with good fortune and gets to wear the paper crown.

The origins of the Roscón de Reyes or King Cake date back to France in the Middle Ages. In Western Christian tradition, Epiphany celebrates the visit of the biblical Magi to the Christ Child in the stable in Bethlehem. The Eve of Epiphany, known as Twelfth Night, is the last day of the Christmas season, and Epiphany Day itself (January 6th)is the start of the Epiphany season and the cake is served as a celebration of this season.

In preparation for this annual tradition, Spain's Consumers' Association - la OCU - has been busy tasting and testing some of the most widely available roscones to see which are the best tasting and the best value for money this festive season. The original roscones didn't have fillings, but these days filled roscones are becoming more and more popular. This year, testers compared cream-filled roscones from: Ahorramás, Alcampo, Aldi, Carrefour, Dia, El Corte Inglés, Eroski, Lidl, Mercadona and Hiper Usera to find the best on offer. 

Not only did they take the visual aspect into account - the packaging and the overall look of the product - but also the nutritional value, the amount of fat, sugar and additives they contain, and lastly the quality of the filling and the pastry dough itself.



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