St Ursula leaves England

St. Ursula and Bu˝uelos
St Ursula
Feast Day 21 October
Martyred 385

The Feast of the Virgins commemorates the martyrdom of St. Ursula, according to legend the daughter of an English king, and 1100 virgins in 300 A.D. (historians believe that this figure may have been inflated by the addition of two noughts!). Although not a Mallorcan patron saint, it was once traditional to serenade the virgins, on the evening before the saint's day, by playing a guitar or singing in the street outside their houses. The young men were then invited inside and given a glass of wine and a bu˝uelo - rather like a small doughnut, sprinkled with sugar.

Over time, the simple bu˝uelo was refined to include cream or custard and even covered with chocolate sauce, so that it came to resemble a profiterole. Cream-filled bu˝uelos are on sale at bakeries throughout the month of October, prior to the Feast of the Virgins. In Palma, as well as in the towns and villages of the Island, it is common to find bu˝uelo stalls springing up in the streets and markets to mark the occasion, and these are more likely to provide the real thing.

Traditional Recipe for bu˝uelos