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Thursday, May 26, 2022

Maria biscuits are neither from Fontaneda nor are they Spanish

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Via Fontaneda

If you ask anyone in Spain to tell you what name comes to mind when they think of Maria biscuits, they will surely tell you Fontaneda. And it is that years of publicity have made that We automatically associate this type of cookie with that brand although they are also manufactured by other famous companies such as Cuétara, Gullón and numerous white brands.

However, Fontaneda did not invent María biscuits and their origin is not even found in Spain, despite having been present in Spanish breakfasts and snacks for decades. amazing, It is an English invention dating back to the 19th century.

One of the urban legends that circulate is that the famous biscuit owes its name to the granddaughter of biscuit maker Eugenio Fontaneda, founder of the Palencia company that bears his surname. However, this explanation is false and the real “Maria” for whom the cookies were named is Maria Alexandrovnadaughter of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia.

The Grand Duchess married Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, on January 23, 1874. The royal wedding was quite a social event and, to commemorate it, London pastry chefs James Peek and George Hender created the new cookie that we all know today, which they called Maria cookies.

Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna of Russia, image via Flickr Commons

Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna of Russia, image via Flickr Commons

The biscuit is soon very popular today in Europe and especially in Spain, where became the symbol of economic recovery of the country after the Civil War, incorporated into everyday language to the point that the dictionary of the Royal Academy includes the term.

No fruit, the prestige of Maria biscuits is not limited to Europe: around the world different brands market their version Of these thin and crunchy cookies: Pagasa in Mexico, Goya Foods in the United States, President’s Choice in Canada, Fibisco in the Philippines or Disha Foods in India are some of the most popular.

Now you know: the Maria biscuits are not inventoried for the glorious purpose of finishing off the custard, but to accompany tea at five in honor of the wife of an English prince.

ViaGetty

ViaGetty

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