History, culture, architecture and gifts of nature surround the region of Murcia, but gastronomy is the aspect that all its visitors fall in love with, especially its sweets and desserts. Let's meet them!
This is a typical dessert originating in the region of Murcia, famous for its exquisite flavour and the originality of its preparation. This recipe was introduced to Spain by the Sephardic Jews who settled in the Iberian Peninsula.
Paparajote is simply a lemon tree leaf covered with a dough of wheat flour, milk and egg, which is fried and then sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon. Despite its simplicity and ease of preparation, it is one of the most appreciated desserts in Murcian cuisine.
The dough that covers the paparajotes is essentially the same as that used to make “buñuelos”. With it, the leaves of the lemon tree are overflowing, previously soaked in water and fried in abundant hot oil.
The recipe is that simple for this dessert, one of the most traditional not only in the region of Murcia, but also in other Spanish provinces.
Paparajotes are served as a dessert after meals. In the Spring Festivals and in the September Fair, which are celebrated in the city of Murcia, paparajotes are the star dessert, requested by all those attending these popular festivities.
This delicious dessert, although not exclusive to the region of Murcia, is a fundamental component of the traditional Christmas menu of Murcian families. Quince is a fruit that is abundantly grown in the region's orchards.
It is harvested during the so-called "veranico" season, starting in the second half of September, when the temperature rises unusually, in what is known as the "second summer". From that date and until January, it is possible to find this tasty fruit in this area of the Spanish territory.
That is when, in a large number of homes, the preparation of this traditional dessert begins, which is usually kept preferably until December so that it can be enjoyed at Christmas parties.
The quince is a fruit with very low sugar content. Therefore, to make the sweet, it is necessary to add a considerable amount of this ingredient. This makes it a high-calorie dessert, which is recommended to be eaten in moderation for those who have problems of this type.
Recognition of the quince
The fame of Murcian quince cheese is universal and is due in part to the excellent quality of this fruit in the region of Murcia. It is estimated that since the time of the Roman Empire, it was cultivated in the area and highly appreciated for its quality.
Its preparation, although simple, requires a lot of care in order to achieve optimal results. That is why it is prepared less often in homes according to the traditional recipe. Currently, many commercial brands offer it in an industrialized way, but nothing matches the taste and texture of good homemade quince cheese made according to the recipe of the grandmothers, who, with their expert hands, are in charge of maintaining this long-standing tradition.
Among the great variety that Murcian gastronomy offers in terms of desserts, quince cheese is perhaps one of the most outstanding. Its fame has transcended borders and it is now appreciated throughout the world.
As a dessert, as a snack, alone or accompanied by strong-flavoured cheeses, quince cheese is a delicacy that lovers of good food should try at least once in their lives.