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International Croquette Day: Where the popular Spanish tapa originates from and how to make them
Food and drink

International Croquette Day: Where the popular Spanish tapa originates from and how to make them

Every year, on 16 January, the world pays tribute to one of the most popular dishes you'll find in most restaurants in Spain

Isabel Méndez

Malaga

Tuesday, 16 January 2024, 10:15

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They are so popular that they even have their own special day on the calendar. Croquettes, an essential snack in any self-respecting restaurant in Spain, their versatility offers an almost endless range of flavours: ham, mushroom, prawn or chicken. That is why each year International Croquette Day is celebrated on 16 January (today).

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Despite its popularity in Spain, the beloved tapa does not originate from the country. The date of when it first emerged is unclear, but it is thought to have surfaced from an idea of the court chef of Louis XIV in 1619. Later, in 1817, the chef Antoine Cámere served 'croquettes a la royale' at a dinner for the Archduke of Russia, and it arrived in Spain at the end of the 19th century.

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The name croquette comes from the onomatopoeia 'croc' or 'croquer', which in French means 'to crunch', and that is one of its characteristics, that it is crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside.

When frying them, whether in a frying pan or a deep fryer, it is vital to use plenty of oil at a very hot temperature, between 180 and 190 degrees. It is also essential not to put too many croquettes together, but to make sure they have enough space.

For the béchamel, all you need is flour, butter, milk and salt, and for the bread coating you only need egg and breadcrumbs. The filling is left to the taste of the consumer (or the cook).

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