Traditional Frutas de Aragón are a very popular type of confectionary from the northern Spanish region of Aragon. Made from candied or sugar-coated fruit and chocolate they are a type of fruit-filled bonbon with a unique flavour and a pleasing appearance. Over time this confectionary has become a singular gastronomical statement for the area due to these bonbons’ quality and uniqueness.
The region of Calatayud has been famous for its lush fruit and for progressive preservation techniques since Roman times, consisting in boiling fresh fruit in syrup. This traditional technique has been preserved over time and there are records dating back to the 17th century that indicate that it was traditional to give strangers to the region a jar of candied fruit as a gift.
Therefore, the basics for preparing Frutas de Aragón have been around for over 2000 years. The only missing ingredient for this delicious dessert is its most characteristic feature – the chocolate covering that envelops the candied fruit. This practice of covering the fruits with chocolate began in the Aragon region of Spain just before the Civil War.
This dessert soon became popular across the whole of Spain and to this day is considered to be a true delight, offering a delicious combination of flavour and juiciness. It is a real taste sensation. These chocolates are wrapped in foil of various colours that distinguish between the different type of fruit flavour to choose from.
How are Frutas de Aragón made?
Although no master baker would ever divulge all the secrets involved in preparing this delicious dessert, we can nevertheless decipher each step in the making. The most important step is to remove any humidity from the pulp of the fruit and replace it with sugar so that it can be perfectly preserved over a long period of time. These are the main steps involved in making Frutas de Aragón:
- Choosing top quality fruit
- Chopping the fruit up and removing the peel, pips and fibres (although cherries are usually left whole)
- Boiling the fruit and letting it steep for a few days in a sugary solution.
- Carefully sieving and then glazing or dusting with sugar.
- Covering these pieces of candied fruit with chocolate.
The authentic dessert from Aragon
Authentic Frutas de Aragón carry the C’Alial quality seal after meeting the following criteria:
- Candied fruit of the highest quality are selected: apple, pear, peach, apricot, cherry, plum, fig and orange. Any other fruit that tries to pass itself off as Frutas de Aragón is nothing more than chocolate-coated fruit.
- These fruits can be served in a mix of chocolates or individually. If a mix of fruits is prepared, it is up to each individual producer to decide which type of fruit to choose and in which proportion.
- The fruit must not have pips, peel or stones.
- The product must contain at least 35% of cocoa butter.
- They must not contain preservatives or artificial colours and the only fat is that which is produced by the cocoa.
The C’Alial quality seal is granted by the local government of Aragon to only a handful of the best producers of gastronomy typical to the area. This seal guarantees consumers that only the best fruit has been used in the preparation of this dessert.
Why is it important to choose high quality fruit to make Frutas de Aragón with?
Confectioners who specialise in making these renowned Frutas de Aragón only want the best quality raw materials and choose preserved fruits and candied fruit from market-leading brands such as Lazaya. Only one product per gastronomical type can carry the C’Alial seal which cares for every step of the process from beginning to end, starting with how the fruit is cultivated.
With their own fruit plantations, Lazaya does not need to rely on other producers to obtain the best fruit. Lazaya’s fruit trees receive the best attention from specialists, with pruning carried out when necessary, and with soil supervision, water absorption checked and all the necessary factors to ensure that the end product is beyond comparison. When the experts believe the fruit to be at its best then it is picked and taken immediately to the factory to be preserved intact, maintaining its properties.
The first step in processing fruit begins by peeling, pipping, top and tailing and chopping the fruit using the latest technological innovations available to do so. Afterwards different processes are undertaken to obtain preserved fruit, candied fruit, tinned fruit or sugar-dusted fruit of the best quality that will then be used to make Frutas de Aragón.
Both Frutas de Aragón and Lazaya are rooted in their homeland and create top quality traditional products. If you would like to learn about our excellent fruit, get in touch to find out more.