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Polvorón de Estepa.jpg
Two halves of a polvorón
Type Shortbread
Place of origin Spain
Region or state Andalusia
Main ingredients Flour, sugar, milk, nuts
Similar dishes
Cookbook: Polvorón  Media: Polvorón
Polvorón on its paper wrapper
Mantecados (not polvorones) and their traditional wrappers.

A polvorón (From polvo, the Spanish word for powder, or dust; Cebuano: polboron; Tagalog: pulburón) is a type of heavy, soft and very crumbly Spanish shortbread made of flour, sugar, milk, and nuts, especially almonds. They are produced mostly in Andalusia, where there are about 70 factories in that are part of a syndicate that produces polvorones and mantecados.[1] Under the name mantecados, these sweets are a traditional preparation of other areas of the Iberian Peninsula as well.[2]

Polvorones are popular holiday delicacies in all Spain and its former colonies in Latin America and the Philippines. Traditionally, they were prepared from September to January but are now available all year round. Polvorones were brought to Spain by the Moors and there is thus a very possible Levantine origin, based on a similar sweet known as ghurayba.[3] As this was introduced by the Arabs, during the Spanish Inquisition, it was later decreed by the officials of the Inquisition that polvorones were to be made using pork fat as a means of detecting secret Jews and Muslims within the Southern Spanish regions.



Regional variations[edit]


In Cuba, it is one of the most common flavors of ice cream. Cuba has adapted the flavors of mantecado or polvorones from Spain into a delicious and beloved flavor for Cuban ice cream. Known worldwide for the delicious flavoring, what some[who?] might call a Latin Vanilla, this Cuban flavor has influenced ice cream flavors made in other Latin American places like in Puerto Rico.


A common dessert usually sold in a colored water cellophane or parchment paper. Different flavors or variants are also available, such as vanilla, milk, chocolate, peanut, rice crispies, cashew, coffee crumble, cookies n' cream and ube. A chocolate-coated variant is also popular.


Polvorones are a common Christmas dessert in Spain. These days there are options different from pig fat, like cow fat, as well as vegetarian polvorones and mantecados made with olive oil.

United States of America[edit]

Sometimes called Pan de Polvo, it is made with anise in the south Texas region.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Spanish mantecado: sweet treat beats economic downturn
  2. ^ Herrera del Duque, Extremadura - Gastronomía
  3. ^ Salloum, H. 2007. Classic Vegetarian Cooking from the Middle East and North Africa. Toronto: Interlink.