Madrid: Hidden secrets in the city

The first stop on our virtual tour of the Camino is in the largest city in Spain and its beautiful capital, Madrid. A hub for business, government, and industry, Madrid is also celebrated for its rich cultural, artistic, and gastronomic components.

The juxtaposition between its most ancient structures dating back to the 15th century or earlier and the modern hustle and bustle of the city leaves little pieces of history throughout the centuries for visitors to enjoy.

Tucked away in an inconspicuous building on a convent square is an interesting little spot to buy delicious treats (dulces) in the city. El Convento de Corpus Cristi, or more commonly, Las Carboneras, is a small convent where Hieronimus nuns earn their living by selling traditional dulces to those who know where to look. The transaction itself is charmingly mysterious, almost as if one is stuck in time. Once you ring the bell next to the unmarked wooden door of the convent, you will be invited to walk into the building, where you will reach a large, wooden lazy Susan in a small room. Since they are cloistered, the nuns do not reveal their faces to the public but will take your order once you decide which dulces to indulge in, and return them to you using the lazy Susan. The dulces on menu include pastas de almendras (almond biscuits), tocinillos de cielo (creamy egg yolk and sugar dessert, topped with caramel), mantecados de Jerez y de yema (soft sherry and lard shortbreads), naranjines (orange sweets), and more. This little sweet spot is highly recommended to those visiting Madrid looking for a taste of history and delectable tradition.

El Convento de Corpus Cristi

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