Roscon de Reyes is a typical Christmas dessert of Spain
The presence of candied fruits in Christmas cakes and desserts is common to the traditional gastronomy of many countries. Spanish “Roscón de Reyes”, Portuguese “Bolo Rei”, Italian “Panettone”, British Christmas Cake and German “Stollen” are all delicious Christmas sweets that incorporate candied fruits. They are irreplaceable in Christmas and each country of Christian tradition has its won one…!

Typical dessert of Spain made of candied fruits

Many of these Christmas cakes are still taken to commemorate the Day of the Three Wise Men or Epiphany (Adoration of Jesus by the Three Wise Men), although in other countries they are tasted by New Year instead. But such is the success of this tradition that since mid-November and throughout the month of January it is possible to find Christmas cakes in bakeries and supermarkets. An authentic best seller!

Christmas candied fruits, an explotion of colour and taste

What is the purpose of candied fruits in these traditional preparations? Candied fruit brings color and an extra aroma and flavour to all these traditional Christmas cakes. What is not common is the placement of candied fruits in cakes, differing from one another: candied fruits sometimes add colour to the outside part, drawing attention to the shop window of the pastry shop or to the table where it is served. Other times, candied fruits are hidden in the cake dough and only visible when cutting a portion. That’s a real surprise!

The origin of Christmas sweets with candied fruits

Nice biscuit for patisserie made of candied fruits os Lazaya

The origin of this Christmas tradition is remote, and comes from an ancient Roman pagan festival in honour of the god Saturn. A cake made of honey with a filling of nuts, dates and figs was then tasted. With the imposition of Christianity, the festival disappeared but some gastronomic traditions lasted. Even then a bean was introduced inside the cake as a symbol of prosperity. Both traditions (taking cakes with dried and candied fruits and the introduction of beans into the dough) continued in France among the royalty and the aristocracy in the famous “Gallete des Rois”.

In the 18th century, a chef in the palace of Versailles decided to flatter little Louis XV by introducing a gold coin into the “Kings cake”. From then on, the gold coin displaces the bean in the preferences of people, and this traditional cake arrives, like so many other French social customs, to Spain and Portugal. (By the way, the expression “Fool of the bean” has continued being used in Spain as an insult meaning “foolish”  😉 ). But the ‘reign of the coin’ within the cake dough did not last long, and this was changed by bagatelles such as little porcelain ornaments …

Christmas cakes with surprise!

Not only candied fruits are common to all the Christmas cakes around the world. In many countries, the tradition of introducing a coin or a small surprise has been maintained. Even where the traditional Christmas cake no longer carries candied fruits, the tradition of introducing a coin into the dough has remained. This is what happens in Greece with “Vasilopita” (or sweet Basil bread), a type of cake that is taken in the New Year in honour of Saint Basil, the bishop who ordered sugar loaves for the poor and introduced gold coins in them. How sweet it is that such charming customs and symbols have been kept for so long!

The best candied fruits for Christmas

Nice Roscon de Reyes typical dessert of Spain made of candied fruits

In Lazaya we have been producing delicious Christmas candied fruits since our origins. We have inherited the family business from our parents and grandparents, we have grown up among glace fruit. Lazaya’s candied fruits are present in the Roscón de Reyes, Bolo Rei, Gallete des Rois from the South of France, German ChristStollen, British Christmas Cake and Italian Panettone consumed all over the world (many traditional gastronomic customs have traveled from one continent to another). It is something that really makes us feel important 🙂: we have been growing and processing the sweet fruits that decorate the tables of many families at this special dates.

And we want to continue doing it: we have the best Christmas candied fruits for industrial bakeries and pastries shops. Our delicious candied fruits are available all year round, so that your customers can enjoy a new Christmas time with the same flavours as always. In Lazaya, we are proud to help everyone enjoy the local gastronomic traditions with our delicious candied fruits.

Feliz Navidad  – Merry Christmas – Joyeux Noël – Frohliche Weihnachten – Buon Natale –  God Jul – Sretan Bozic – Milad Mubarak – Mo’adim Lesimkha