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It can all be a little overwhelming, the city may not be huge but the culture, activities, events, eateries etc. is vast. So we have taken it upon ourselves to amalgamate our local 12 years experience in the city via our blog. Whether you are planning on coming over for the festivals, want to find out vegan eats or general insider information, we will keep you in the loop.
Attention all chocoholics
I would highly recommend that you do not read the following article. It could lead you far from the path of the righteous and through the swinging doors of various cocoa laden, sugar dusted boutiques that sprinkle the streets of Barcelona. If you wish to remain unstained and untainted, kindly click on close and go quietly and humbly back to your celery sticks and cottage cheese…. Now.
If however, like me, you’re the kind of cat that wears her addiction on her sleeve (and more often than not, fingers thumbs and t-shirt), and to whom “dark, white or milk?” is an existential question…
Chocolate boutiques have become as much a part of Barcelona’s bizarre yet appetizing architecture as Gaudi himself. This is the almighty Choco-lotto: The city in which you’ll find yourselves spoilt for choice when it comes to where to indulge your sweet tooth.
The sweet and lowdown is that the first cargo of chocolate arriving from the New World to Europe, landed in the Barcelona in the 1400′s (si, that’s right, before it ever got to Belgium!)
It’s fair to say that one could probably cover a full day’s nutritional requirements simply by hopping between the “chocolaterias” that cluster the city centre. In honor of this hypothesis, I sacrificed willpower and integrity in the name of reporting the truth. Here, are the findings:
How to create your own Non-Stop Choc Odyssey a la Barcelona:
10.00 Start off with chocolate con churros at any number of churrerías in the city, such as Churrería Laietana on Via Laietana. Prop your elbows on the table, roll up your sleeves and dunk long sugary donuts into a divine cup of creamy, globby hot chocolaty elixir, saving the last ooey-gooey bit for a spoon (or better still fingers). This power breakfast contains enough calories to feed an entire village, and I personally recommend embracing each and every one of them as if they were long lost relatives. Tuck a napkin into your neck, if you’re not wearing a brown shirt, or you’ll have to blame it on the birds…(or worse.)
11.45 For a fortifying mid-morning snack, head over to Fargas, Carrer del Pi, in the Gothic Quarter, Barcelona’s oldest Chocotique… Basque in the wafting scent of caramelized sugar and cocoa and the blissfull warm smiles of the female chocolatiers as they lovingly prepare you a parcel of bon-bons, sugar coated nuts, or a slab that resembles a cocoa-soaked roofing tile/smooth white house brick to keep you going till lunch.
13.30 Feel like a spot of lunch? Why not pop into La Boqueria in La Rambla for some crunchy protein: You’ll find a stand at the back, surrounded by a mob of marveling market-goers that serves a sumptuous array of chocolate covered ants and other seemingly unidentifiable cocoa-coated insects. Worried about a balanced diet for the young ones, mums? Fear not! Scorpion lollipops and canned roasted cockroaches are also available for the kiddies. (Young and old…)
16.30 Roll around the corner to Escribá on the Ramblas, which has been putting sticky smiles on thousands of faces since 1906, and has recently branched into cocoa-couture. Why not try an intricately designed edible chocolate ring, for a mere 30 euros? Perfect for the commitment wary who are deliberating a potential proposal. Wear until the novelty wears off and then gobble. Ideal for a trial engagement!
17.30 Getting peckish again? Charter a local rickshaw/wheelbarrow and head into The Borne where you can mooch around the Museu de la Xocolata, the local choccy museum, for a glance through the sugarcoated chapters of Barcelona’s history. Learn about the aphrodisiac, healing and nutritional properties of the all-time divine foodstuff, through the wise teachings of oompa-loompa size figurines that look, frankly, good enough to eat.
Museu de la Xocolata, Carrer Comerc, 36
19.30 Slip in a late afternoon tea/early supper at the uber- elegant, divinely scented Cacao Sampaka, on Carrer Consell de Cent 292 or Carrer Ferran 43-45.
Nibble on a nugget of chili-spiced Aztec chocolate, prepared to a traditional ancient recipe, or whip up your favorite cocoa-frenzy at the instore hot chocolate bar. Flavors range from the sublime to the downright unfathomable: from straight Venezuelan you can stand your spoon in to Anchovy or Curry for the boldest cocoa-loco/a. Peruse the shelves or peer into the classy glass cases where sumptuous praline, petal and sugar coated gems lie longing to be sucked up and melt on the tongue, then beg to slip slowly down the throat like a sweet, newly- swallowed suggestion… (errr…time for a cold shower, back in a jiffy…)
20.30 Wash the day down with a bottle or two of chocolate beer at Xocoa on Carrer Petritxol 11-17, Carrer Princesa 10, or Carrer Videria 4. You could also make use of the occasion to pick up a novelty souvenir or gift (if you can bear to part with anything this shop has to sell). Offerings include chocolate CDs, 23 Karat gold chocolates or signed chocolate hearts inscribed with profound universal truths such as:
“Why do they say love, when they mean sex?”
When all is said, done, digested and repented, if you feel like expanding (on the theme), there are plenty of other choc-oases to choose from in Barcelona, such as Enric Rovira, Joseph Tarradellas 113; Petit Plaisir, Carrer del Rossello 237 and Carrer de Ganduxer 33 or Papabubble, Carrer Ample 28.
Source: Author’s own research and article Daily Telegraph 8.26.06: “Going Loco for Cocoa in Barcelona”
Wow, this is very useful.. Thanks for sharing this and hoping I could implement it too.
June 13th, 2009 at 4:50, posted by archlord gold