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I bought a cake like snack in Costa Rica called Gato Guayaba. I was trying to figure out what was in it, so I read the following ingredients list:

Ingredientes: Margarina, huevos, royal, azùcar, harina y guayaba.

Gato Guayaba label

I know margarine, eggs, sugar, flour, and guava, but what is royal?

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In spanish it's called Polvos royal. – Nicolás Dec 8 '12 at 21:57
Royal es una marca, es polvo de hornear :) – cayerdis Dec 10 '12 at 20:35
up vote 13 down vote accepted

Most probably, it is baking powder of the brand Royal.

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Yes. Royal is a very old US baking powder brand. It was introduced in Latin America as part of the economic expansion of the New Deal, it was already known before the start of World War II (as far as my family papers allow me to tell). The name of the brand replaced the name of the product in the people's language. It is the same phenomenon as has happened in US English with Kleenex for disposable tissues or Band-Aid for adhesive bandages. – vorbote Dec 10 '12 at 18:01
Just remembered... The phenomenon I am refereing to is called brand dillution into a generic name. – vorbote Dec 10 '12 at 18:08

As Chewie pointed out,

Most probably, it is baking powder of the brand Royal.

The appropriate name is "levadura en polvo" in Spain or "polvos de hornear" in some South American countries.

The use of Royal is a generic name such as using "Scotch tape" instead of "sticky tape".

A box of Royal baking powder

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Updated question with picture, should give more context. – Brad Koch Dec 8 '12 at 22:44
Yes, it's definitely baking powder. Here is an online recipe if you want to cook it at home:… - And it's really funny that they are using that in an ingredients list. In Europe the normative of ingredients list is quite stricter. – itorres Dec 8 '12 at 23:14
There are plenty of recipes that were originally published by makers of flour, shortening, or baking powder. They would routinely put their own brand name into one of the ingredients. Sometimes, that stuck, even when the recipe was copied elsewhere. – Walter Mitty Dec 10 '12 at 23:34
@JoulSauron "levadura en polvo" es un hongo, el que se usa para hace pan y cerveza. "Polvos de leudar" son, bueno, polvos de hornear: una combinación de bicabonato de sodio, ácido tartárico y almidón de maíz. – vorbote Dec 11 '12 at 18:26
@vorbote Esta respuesta no es mia :S – JoulSauron Dec 12 '12 at 0:13

Another synonym for "Royal" is "Masa Real".

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No it's not. Royal is an ingredient in the Gato Guayaba, most surely baking powder. Therefore the recipe you posted is not a synonym for that ingredient. – spiral Nov 18 '15 at 20:09

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