“Float like a butterfly and sting like a bee“ Muhammad Ali (1942 - 2016)

Panellets, the kings of autumn


Autumn is sweet in Catalonia. This season brings with it All Saints festivities (known in Catalonia and Aragon as “la castanyada” or chestnut festival), which locals celebrate by eating typical Catalan traditional pastries called panellets. They date back to the 18th century and have strong religious connotations. History tells that panellets were originally considered a sacred food that could be shared with friends and family after religious events. On 31 October and 1 November, panellets are the most traditional dessert. On these dates alone, Pastry Factory makes up to 100,000 panellets, which are sold through its retail and traditional channels.

Panellets are classified under the European Union quality classification scheme as a traditional speciality guaranteed (TSG). They are a high-calorie product, as are chestnuts, sweet potatoes and candied fruit, which are also traditionally eaten on the same night. But why was it important to eat high-calorie foods for All Saints? The legend says the custom of eating this type of foods, which obviously give you loads of energy, comes from the tradition of watching over the dead all night, until the break of dawn. This type of high-calorie foods made it possible for the whole town to stay awake and not pass out. 

Given their composition, mainly almonds, these sweets are suspected to be of Arab origin. Although the ingredients may vary, the base of any panellet is always the same: sugar, raw almond meal and egg whites. Some confectioners also add potato or sweet potato to the dough. At Pastry Factory, the selection of panellets is all made in the traditional manner, by hand and using only the three main ingredients. The panellets later get a fourth ingredient to give them their flavour (chocolate, coconut, pine nuts, candied fruit, etc.). The Pastry Factory pine-nut panellet is the most popular, as it is the most typical with its coating of pine nuts from the Montseny region, which are the best in the area. 

Pastry Factory serves all of its panellets in two formats: raw, frozen at -18° C and ready to bake; or already baked and at room temperature, with expiry date within 15 days.  

Interested in a personalised selection of panellets? Contact us for more information!






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