All about Spain. Mantecados and polvorones (Christmas Shortbread)

  • Mantecados and polvorones are Spanish traditional treats that cannot miss on tables, at parties or gatherings at Christmas.

    They are pieces of baked dough, made with wheat flour, icing sugar and lard.

    Mantecados have their origin in Andalusia, in the sixteenth century. Some people say that the original ones were made in Estepa (in the Convent of Santa Clara de Estepa in Seville) and others in Antequera. They were cooked to take advantage of the surplus of cereals and lard.

    Their commercialization started in the nineteenth century thanks to Filomena Micaela Ruiz Téllez, known as 'La Colchona'. She gave them to her husband to sell them in the markets. To facilitate their transport and storage, she dried them. First she refined and toasted the flour. After that, she toasted the mantecados (their outside part) in order to have a dry and consistent product, but at the same time tender inside.

    Today Estepa is the world capital of mantecados and the point of reference in its artesanal production and industrial manufacture.

    Now, we are going to explain the difference between mantecados and polvorones:


    • Their name comes from the fat used to make them. Lard is ‘manteca’ in Spanish.
    • Basic ingredients are: wheat flour, icing sugar and lard, other ingredients are added to make different varieties, such as cinnamon, sesame, almond, hazelnut, cocoa...
    • They are typically round.


    • They get their name from the fact that they are sprinkled with powdered sugar. Powder is ‘polvo’ in Spanish.
    • Polvorones is just a type of mantecado, but they have more ingredients than mantecados, because almond is always added in different proportions.
    • Polvorones tend to be served in an oval shape
    • They are dusted with powdered sugar or icing sugar.

    This year you will not miss mantecados and polvorones. El Colmado HK has brought you a varied selection made in Estepa by a company that has been producing them since 1966. These mantecados and polvorones have the seal of Protected Geographical Indication ‘Mantecados y Polvorones de Estepa’, which guarantees the proven quality of a genuine product.

    Buy Polvorones and mantecados El Santo clicking here

    Celebrate Christmas as never before!

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