The coke tradition and the festival of Sant Joan are linked to the celebration of the summer solstice, a pagan festival with fire and music, which on the Mediterranean coast has always been accompanied by a flat and round coca that, originally, was a bread paste with oil, eggs, sugar and pine nuts and it was shaped like a sun.
This year, after two years of restrictions, the Barcelona Pastry Guild faces the Sant Joan campaign with “optimism” and hopes to exceed 2019 sales, with over 1.8 million of artisan cokes sold throughout Catalonia.
“The coincidence of Sant Joan on Friday, which facilitates a long weekend, and the normality recovered after the pandemic, make us foresee a very good campaign,” said the president of the Guild, Antoni Bellart, from the Triomf pastry shop in Barcelona.
In relation to inflation, Bellart has assured that the majority of pastry chefs will reduce margins and maintain prices, because “although it is clear that costs have become more expensive and mainly electricity, which for our business represents a very important expense, having an impact on the escalation inflationary in the consumer would harm us in sales and we try to avoid it”. Bellart, in addition, has remembered that not only the electricity has risen, but most of the ingredients and also the packaging that is used.
However, this year the price of pine nuts it is cheaper than last year, a fact that offsets the increase in other ingredients, such as flour. All in all, artisan cakes can range between 15 and 50 euros depending on the size.
As for the best-selling cokes, Bellart has shared that the cream classics, candied fruit (melon, orange and cherries) and puff pastry with ‘llardons’ will once again be the most popular. Despite this, he has ensured that each year the sales of cakes filled with creamangel hair, chocolate, gianduia (chocolate with hazelnut paste) and other innovative proposals such as lemon pie, pistachio or matcha tea.
this year too reservations have been advanced, as confirmed by somGranollers. “Since Friday is a holiday, there are people who go away to spend the weekend and they take the coca from here,” explains Úrsula Quesada, from the El Rincón oven, who had already attended until Tuesday. 350 reserves. “Yes, there are more reservations, but there are also those who come at the last minute without a prior reservation,” said Montse Puigdomènech, from the Puigdomènech Pastry Shop.