In a privileged corner of the Malasaña neighborhood, last fall a
traditional Romanian bakery
opened its doors
, specifically typical of Transylvania, the most visited region in this country, where Bran Castle is located, popularly known as Count Dracula's castle.
This is where the history of this peculiar establishment begins, whose black facade catches the attention of all passers-by.
The architects of the business are
Carolina Comas and her partner, Diego de Anna
, who are neither Romanian nor come close (she Uruguayan and he Argentine). Well, maybe they do get a little closer. "We come from the world of advertising and events", explains Comas, "we have the production company Newmedia Creative Technology Studio, with which we are dedicated to organizing immersive technological events, holograms, exhibitions ..." (the geodesic dome is his work installed in the gardens of the UPM, in front of the Faculty of Agronomists: a kind of igloo very close to the Museo del Traje, with permanent 360-degree projections). And he continues: "For four years we have been going to Sibiu, in Transylvania,to set up the 360-degree film section for the Astra Film Festival documentary festival and we always came back wanting to open the
Romanian bakery model
that we loved so much here ".
The name it receives is
, the place where
are made and dispatched
, loops of bread very similar to bretzel or pretzel
, whose origin comes from Hungary and Germany.
Romanians consume it almost at any time of the day, from breakfast to dinner, and it can be sweet or savory.
Covrigi with bow and without it.
Open in the middle of a pandemic
Finally, the moment came with Covid-19. Like so many other openings that have taken place lately in Madrid, it had to be reinvented since months went by without organizing events ... To do this, they took over the place (which had once been a
and more recently a hot dog shop). ) and got the centenary recipes of
, creator of the original bakery, opened "1888 in the city of Sibiu, at the foot of the Carpathians, where on the corner of a street near La Piata Mare (or Great Plaza, the center main part of the old town), whose covrigi (that's how it is written in the plural) became one of the most sacred foods in Transylvania. " Hence, precisely, the name of the place.
The legend of the Sfânt family says that it was Nicoleta Sfânt who accustomed his sons, daughters Petronela, Ionela, Cosmina and Vasile to reward their learning with these buns, according to the tradition followed by the Benedictine monks of Burgundy and the Rhineland.
Its bow shape simulated the arms of a child performing prayers
Devout as she was, she taught her husband how to make these muffins, who modified the recipe from bretzel by dipping them in boiling water before baking.
This is how the Covrigi were born.
The Sfânt family.
An offer from around the world
In Sfânt de Malasaña, the baker Valeria Vaida, a Romanian national, is the one who takes care of giving the typical touch. Hand in hand with the chef-eco Annarita Di Rubbo, who provides the gourmet point of view: "She, in addition to advising on management, helps us with the recipes that Diego and I present from our countries of origin," says Comas, " and that's how the store's menu comes out. "
To start with, you have to try some covrig (from 1.50 euros per unit), with or without a bow.
In addition to the simple ones, there are those made
with whole wheat flour, with pipes, with Emmental cheese, with poppy seeds ...
Also stuffed (with ham and cheese).
Or sweets, like chocolate or the nutty and sugar filling.
To follow, several typical cakes from Romania, such as the
armaaice, a milk bread with sweet cheese and walnuts
, and from other parts of the world, such as the apple struddel or a chocotorta that is almost sinful.
The proposal is completed with different
(chicken curry, caprese) and
breads of international origin
(there are spelled or olive loaves, ciabatta, rye bars, baguettes with cereals ...).
"We are mounting
an interior mapping that will be developed on the photo of the Sfânt family
. Thus, at night you will be able to see visual shows created by us and by invited artists: by day a bakery, at night, a visual arts gallery.
Address: Espíritu Santo, 11. More information: www.sfant.es
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