Madrid: Panecillos de San Antòn (Saint Antony)
Saint Antony (San Antòn) is a very important saint for the Spanish capital. Several chapels and churches were built in his name through the city, most notably of all the Real Iglesia de las Escuelas Pías de San Antón in Calle Hortaleza. In the latter, every 17th of January house pets are brought by their owners to be blessed, being Saint Antony the protector of animals.
Throughout the same period you will be able to buy the famous Panecillos de San Antòn, often eaten during the Christmas holidays, but found all year round in the pastry shops near the church. In the 19th century these breads of variable sizes were sold to pilgrims that went to Madrid. Their name comes from the bread that Saint Antony ate during his fast to avoid temptation. They were traditionally offered to protect from famine, disease and to bless animals.
Nowadays, the panecillos are easily recognizable through the cross on their top. They can be found in several different flavous, and for the most part are small and sweet.
If you want to visit Madrid and taste Saint Antony’s panecillos, do not forget to book your hotel through Best Bookings!