Alcalá de Henares is known for its sweets and rosquillas de Alcalá are one of the city’s most famous pastries. Rosquillas de Alcalá are small donuts made with puff pastry and oven-baked until they’re golden brown. Once cooled, these flaky treats are bathed in a creamy glaze of water, sugar, and egg yolks which gives them their signature yellow glow. The recipe for these treats dates back to the 16th century and locals often joke, “had they not been made by nuns, they would be considered a mortal sin.” Buy a rosquilla de Alcalá at any pastelería (pastry shop) and enjoy them for breakfast as the Spaniards do. Good luck eating just one!
Since Spain is one of the world’s major wine-producing countries, it’s not surprising that it also produces mosto – a drink best described as full-bodied grape juice. Mosto translates to “must” and describes the process of pressing grapes to separate the skins, seeds, and stems and filter out the liquid. Unlike wine, mosto isn’t fermented, so it’s a refreshing non-alcoholic beverage enjoyed by adults and children alike. Mosto comes in red or white varieties, with a flavor profile reminiscent of apple juice. Interestingly, you’ll find mosto served with an orange slice and an olive. Apparently, the combo works – try it for yourself!
Have you ever read Don Quixote? Considered one of the most important books of all time, this valuable piece of Spanish literature was written by Miguel de Cervantes, one of Spain’s greatest literary minds. Cervantes was born in Alcalá de Henares in 1547 in a modest two-story home that today is a museum. Transport yourself to the 16th century with a tour of the Cervantes Birthplace Museum. In its carefully preserved rooms, you’ll find historical paintings, antique furniture, and vintage décor while learning about this talented author’s impressive life.