Pastry Chef, Rafel Solivellas, who owns Pastisseria Forn Can Rafel in Búger won the III Best Ensaimada in the World Competition in 2019, but now he’s turning his attention to a very different tradition and has recreated a biscuit in the shape of Jaia Corema.
“One day I went to the Gabriel Cortés tinsmith shop in Porreres looking for moulds and I noticed that he had one for Jaia Corema, so I bought it,” explains Solivellas. “I didn't know how to assemble it because there’s no instructions on the mould, so I documented the clothes and accessories that she was wearing and created this sweet ‘jaia’.”
Jaia Corema is usually made of paper, wood or cardboard and is hung in homes from the beginning of Lent until Easter Saturday. She has 7 legs, which represent the 7 weeks of lent and a leg is removed every Sunday as Easter gets closer.
She’s also known as Jaia Serrada because in olden times crowds of people used to gather outside Palma Town Hall on the Thursday of the fourth week of Lent to watch her being sawn in half by the Public Executioner!
To make the biscuit, Rafel used a dough based on flour, eggs, water, butter, baking soda and food colouring, with red for the body, green for the scarf and blue for the rosary. Once the biscuit been assembled it's baked in the oven at 180 degrees for 15 minutes, then a black dot and a white dot are painted on each foot.
“There are a lot of people who don’t know about Jaia Corema," says Solivellas, "so making them helps to keep the tradition alive."