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Thursday, February 28, 2019

El Jueves Lardero - Lardy Thursday

Hornazo

Did you know that today is "Jueves Lardero" Lardy Thursday (Fat Thursday in many European Countries), a day that is also known in many places in Spain as "the day of Tortilla"? Don't worry if you didn't, nor did I, but I love the name!

On this day the carnival celebrations begin, according to tradition that dates way back to the Middle Ages, and it is a week away from Ash Wednesday that will announce the beginning of Lent, the 40 days before Holy Week, during which - by Christian tradition - you should not make excesses, eat meat, or celebrate anything. This gives us the origin of this week of costumes, parties, carnival and other excess.

The word "Lardero" comes from "Lardo" which is what the fat or lard of the pig was originally called (from the Latin "lardarius"). In Catalonia this day is known as "Dijous Gras" (Fatty Thursday). But ... what does this have to do with the day of the tortilla?

In ancient Saturnalia, the pagan festivities that were celebrated in ancient Rome in honour of the God Saturn, "tortillas" based on flour and fat or lard were cooked and it was popular to go to the countryside to eat it. Nowadays the flour and fat of the tortillas have been replaced by eggs and that is why it's traditional today to take a tortilla sandwich to take to school or work. But each region or community celebrates the day in a different way.

Jueves Lardero is the popular name given to the Thursday before carnival, especially in the Castilian-Aragonese area. The name comes from the verb lardear (to spread or wrap what is going to be roasted with grease), and it's customary to eat sausages, bacon and pork on that day. In Catalonia, on Lardy Thursday, it's traditional to eat tortilla with butifarra. And in Soria there is a proverb that says "Juederos lardero, chorizo ​​entero", referring to the custom of going on a picnic with bread, pork loin and a whole chorizo. In Albacete it's the "day of the mona", the day where the typical "hornazo", a bread with a hard-boiled egg in the center is consumed that is also common in some areas of Andalusia.

Via: La Laguna Ahora¿Qué es el jueves lardero?

Photo: Juan Fernández (JuanJaén) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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