Today, October 15, the Catholic Church is celebrating the feast day of St. Teresa of Ávila, the patron saint of headache sufferers and writers.
Born Teresa de Cepeda y Ahumada, St. Teresa of Ávila was a Carmelite nun from the walled city of Ávila, Spain, and the first woman Doctor of the Church—as appointed by Pope Paul VI in 1970. She was responsible for the Carmelite Reform in the 16th century, restoring the Carmelite nuns’ original way of life—simple, austere, and prayerful.
In her lifetime, St. Teresa of Ávila had set up over 10 convents for Carmelites throughout Spain, even while she was ill and experiencing difficulties. Many people have since looked up to the beloved saint and celebrate her feast day religiously every year. (Read: A Prayer on the Memorial of St. Teresa of Ávila)
But now, with the COVID-19 pandemic, it might not be possible to physically go to church and pray or fly to Ávila and visit her place of origin. So why not celebrate her feast day by eating food that originates from Ávila?
Food From Ávila: Patatas Revolconas
Patatas Revolconas is a Spanish version of mashed potato. The difference? It’s spicier than usual as it uses cayenne pepper and paprika! It also doesn’t use butter, contrary to the usual mashed potato we cook and eat. Here’s the Ávila, Spain take on the timeless mashed potato.
- 4 potatoes
- 3 tbsps olive oil
- 1 cayenne pepper
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 1 slice pancetta or bacon
Follow the recipe here.
Food From Ávila: Amarguillos
Amarguillos is a sweet and almondy pastry that can be eaten by anyone, even those who are gluten intolerant. It is also somewhat bitter, as the word amarguillo literally translates to ‘bitter’, but is a great snack to munch on with the family.
250 g almond flour
120 g sugar
3 large eggs
Raw almonds to top
You can check out the steps here.
Food From Ávila: Yemas de Santa Teresa
Of course, it being Ávila, there is bound to be a food named after St. Teresa. And this is in the form of the yemas de Santa Teresa. It is a traditional dessert that’s a must-try when visiting Spain, and it’s a staple food every October 15th—St. Teresa’s feast day. You can also try this recipe whenever you have leftover egg yolks!
- 3 ounces water
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 lemon peel, optional
- 6 egg yolks
- 1 cup powdered sugar or confectioner’s sugar
Follow the procedure here.