Sweet caresses could be the best way to translate moixaines, traditional pastries associated with the city of Ripoll, the capital of Ripollés county in Girona province. Made with thin sheets of wafer made from a dough of milk, almonds, sugar and flour, the pastries are fashioned into small cylinders with their ends tucked in and stuffed with an almond and hazelnut paste. Baked in the oven, moixaines have a crispy exterior that contrasts with the soft creamy stuffing inside.
Although the moixaines de Ripoll we know today began appearing in local Ripoll pastry shops in the 20th century, their origins have been traced to delicacies as far back as the 9th century, which were made to honour Saint Eudald. According to tradition, Eudald was born in the 5th century in Lombardy, although local tradition in Ripoll puts his birthplace as Toulouse. After converting to Christianity and becoming a priest, Eudald was supposedly martyred by the Germanic peoples known as the Vandals, who conquered the Iberian Peninsula after the fall of the Roman Empire. Eudald officially became Ripoll’s patron saint in 1004, after a procession of his holy relics supposedly brought a drought to an end. Plaça Sant Eudald in Ripoll is the site of a church built in 1054 that no longer stands.
Today, moixaines are one of Ripoll’s most emblematic delicacies and can be found in local pastry shops all year round. Despite their high sugar content making them a delicacy to be enjoyed only occasionally, moixaines have beneficial health properties due to the fats and high quality proteins they contain from the almonds they are made with.