Sunday, January 15, 2012

candy from a convent


One of the interesting experiences we had in Sevilla was buying candy at the San Leandro convent.  They're famous for a candy called Yemas, which are...different to say the least.  The exterior is a really, really dense sugary crystalized shell with a liquidy "yolk" (yema means yolk in Spanish) inside that tastes really buttery and sweet with some very subtle caramel taste.   To get the yemas, you have to go through a special door of the convent, through a courtyard to a wooden turnstile window.  You ring the bell and a voice comes from the other side and says something like Ava Maria Purisima.  There is a proper response but I didn't want to misrepresent myself as a Catholic to a nun, so I said, "Can I please buy 2 yemas?" and the answer, 3 times in a row, was, "No, sorry, we are all sold out. Please come back tomorrow." 

Yep, they're that famous! They sell out before noon almost every day if you want to buy them individually.  They do sell boxes by the pound, but my waistline does not need a pound of candy sitting in my apartment. 

Finally, on the fourth try, the answer was yes, so we got to put our money on the turnstile and spin it round.  Lo and behold it was turned back to us with candy on the tray! What fun. I would have really liked to meet the nuns who make the candy, and of course take their picture, but that's not how they roll.  It was a really cool experience and I suggest you stop by there if you're in Sevilla.  Personally, yemas are not my favorite sweet, but they're worth trying. In fact, they're so popular among Sevillians that even the major grocery stores stock the 1/2 and full kilo boxes and sell them for a hefty price.  Unfortunately, I can't find the photos I took of the actual candy, but you can have a looksie here.

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