La Mocadorà and Sant Donís 

Let's celebrate together the Valencian Community Day! We bring you the recipe of the Mocadorà figurines to celebrate on October 9


4 October 2019


La Mocadorà i Sant Donís

It is a very old and entrenched custom that has lasted over time. The story goes that, when Jaume I conquered Valencia on October 9, 1238, the defeated Muslims offered fruits and vegetables from the Valencian garden wrapped in a handkerchief to the king and his wife, Violant of Hungary, as a show of subordination.

This tradition was maintained throughout the years, until, in the fifteenth century, in addition to giving away fruit, firecrackers, triquitraques, piuletes and tronadors were launched from the windows of the houses.

But after the War of Spanish Succession in the 18th century, Felipe V abolished the Fueros de Valencia and banned the festival. Faced with this decision, the Valencian confectioners came up with the idea of making marzipan sweets with fruit shapes and “piulets” and they kept celebrating, in secret, the day the city was conquered, and Jaume I allowed the Fueros.

Valencian Valentine’s Day

Just like the defeated Muslims honoured the king and his wife, Jaume I showed his benevolence and helped the young eligible couples who, due to the war, had run out of dowry to marry. He offered them coins, which they collected in their handkerchief and were able to get married. From then on, the custom of setting the date of the wedding that day or asking for the bride's hand was followed, including the ring with the typical sweets in the mocadorà. It is, because of this romantic tradition, that many Valencians consider October 9, Sant Donís, as Valentine's Day.

Meaning of the handkerchief

Bear in mind that the handkerchief was not a simple decorative fashion accessory, as it is today, but was a basic piece of woman’s clothing at the time, which was worn on the head, as well as on the shoulders and in other ways. It may have possibly been used to wrap an offer, an act that symbolises the practical spirit of an agricultural society, as was the Valencian.

La Mocadorà i Sant Donís

La Mocadorà today

Days before the date indicated, all bakeries, bakeries and supermarkets prepare the Mocadorà, with the main ingredient of marzipan. It is considered a big holiday since, around it, competitions are organized that reward both the best window display, and the best product.

Recipe for Mocadorà figures

Start by crushing the almond. It must be crushed a lot of so that it releases the oil and the sandy mass becomes mouldable. When ready, equal amounts of sugar and almond is boiled at 120 degrees.
• Then, the resulting mass is passed through the machine so that it is very thin, lump free and with a perfect texture for mixing flavours and colours.
Subsequently, use the dyes and mould with your hands to shape each of the marzipan figures. The remarkable thing is that, with this simple process, it is possible to give each of the figures the flavour of the fruit or vegetable that it represents.
For the “piuleta” and “tronador”, the elaboration is very similar to the previous one, but with the variation that, in this case, when making the mixture more almonds are used than sugar, it is filled with egg yolk and does not use coloured dyes.