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A sweet tradition

It seems that in certain aspects in Anaga time has stopped and traditions survive.

Taganana is the oldest village in the Anaga Rural Park. It was founded in 1501 by people from Lanzarote and Fuerteventura and its history is closely linked to the sugar cane mill, which gave work to the local inhabitants, along with the cultivation of grapes. This point has been an important nucleus in this area of Santa Cruz and proof of this is the gastronomic richness of the place, which is perceived in the traditional confectionery, which in its beginnings was focused on the use of surplus fruits and vegetables, and that today, with the passage of time, is preserved to maintain the legacy of this unique gastronomic heritage.

Proof of this traditional gastronomy, in addition to rosquetes and a variety of other sweets or biscuits, is the Torta Dulce de Taganana or Sweet Cake of Taganana. It is a sweet bread cake, which was prepared on special days and cooked on firewood, especially during festivities, weddings, feast of Our Lady of Las Nieves, etc. At present, only one bakery is known to still make them, although they are made to order. He is Domingo Morín.

We will not reveal the recipe as it seems to be a very well kept secret, but we will say that it is basically made with flour, milk, sugar and egg, to which is added matalahúga, lard and salt. It is a dough that needs a lot of work, so it was normal for several families to get together and participate in the cooking. The mixture of these ingredients (and some others that we have left out), was left to rise and rest for a while and then it was given that particular shape, which makes it characteristic and that is rounded at the base and at the top has some “peaks”. The cake used to be made in different sizes, today we can find them in normal and large versions.

This sweet cake from Taganana is a kind of bread and has some similarity with the tortas gomeras, although it differs in shape and size. If today you want to consume this hidden delicacy, you can find it in La Gangochera de Anaga, an establishment that opens its doors in Bencomo street, in La Laguana, to serve not only as a restaurant, with an offer of drinks, sandwiches and various breads (millet, pumpkin, chia, beet and spelt …) and desserts / sweets, but also as a sale of products of km 0 of Anaga as cheeses, honey, vegetables and black pig.

As a substitute, in times of famine or when the ingredients could not be afforded, there was also the black sweet potato cake, which was a cheaper version than the sweet cake because it was made with acemite (a wheat by-product, a mixture of ground wheat bran with a small part of wheat flour, which was discarded from the cereal), sweet potato as a sweetener and fennel to give it a touch of spice.

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