Técula Mécula, the Portuguese dessert found in a trunk that triumphs in a city in Spain

The ‘Casa Fuentes’ pastry shop, in the city of Extremadura Olivenza, has been run by the same family for more than half a century. The third generation of Fuentes keeps the recipe for tecula meculaa convent candy made from almonds and egg yolk with a curious story behind it.

This cake is a classic for the inhabitants of this city, border with Portugal. Olivenza, its customs, its people and even its streets, named in both languages, are marked by a huge biculturality Luso-Hispanic. The same goes for the gastronomy, which mixes Spanish dishes with Portuguese recipes like this delicious cake.

This cake is made up of ingredients such as ground almondsthe Egg yolk, sugar, lard or butter. To cook this cake, the ‘Casa Fuentes’ pastry chefs fill a mold with puff pastry. Inside, they introduce the mixture of ingredients and bake at 180°C for one hour. Once ready, the cake is left to rest for about thirty minutes, the time necessary for it to cool.

Above, the Tecula Mecula is covered with a layer of cream, made from egg yolk and sugar. Finally, the pastry chefs decorate the cake with a few chocolate letterswith which they write “Técula Mécula, Fuentes, Olivenza”.

tecula mecula
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A recipe book in an abandoned trunk

A curious story explains the relationship of the Fuentes family with this dessert. A Portuguese traveler left a small trunk abandoned in Olivenza, more precisely in one of the hostels in the region. Inside, the founders of Casa Fuentes, Juan and Celestina, found this recipe based on almonds and egg yolks. They then started to cook this sweet recipe in their bakery and officially registered his curious name, Tecula Mecula. This particular denomination has no clear meaning, but the translation has always been “for you for me”.

Fuentes House Pastry
Fuentes House Pastry

The following two generations from the Fuentes family has continued this legacy, producing this and other characteristic candies of the region. The almond flavor of this cake means it is commonly associated with Christmasit is therefore at this time that Casa Fuentes manufactures half of the production of the whole year.

Tourists and locals line up at the door of the workshop, looking to get their own Técula Mécula cake because, as its name implies, share it with your loved ones.

Sign of a Lidl store.

a people divided

Olivenza is the birthplace of this curious dessert, a town located in the province of Badajoz, right on the border with Portugal. Although it has belonged to the Portuguese government on several occasions, since 1801 it has been a Spanish municipality. Such is the union between these two parts of their history that the inhabitants of the city can obtain the Portuguese nationalityand, therefore, participate in Portuguese political life.

Olivenza (Badajoz).
Olivenza (Badajoz).
Eduardo Estellez (iStock).

With a long story behindOlivenza presents itself as a place where Portuguese and Spanish cultures convergeThat is why many of its neighbors also feel part of the neighboring country. Even the streets have double place names and the older ones speak the dialect known as “Oliventine Portuguese”. This dessert of Portuguese origin is just one more sample of the cultural mix that persists in this beautiful city of Extremadura.

Isabel Preysler and Mario Vargas Llosa during a

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