For Chocolate Lovers Only (Spain)
I first visited Spain with my father when I was 11. One of my most vivid memories of the trip was of the thick, creamy hot chocolate served to me one morning at our hotel in Madrid. Initially, the taste was so foreign that my immature palate rejected it. I couldn’t reconcile this rich, syrupy drink with the watery Swiss Miss (with mini marshmallows) to which I was accustomed. Soon, however, I came to my senses, and looked forward to breakfast and my creamy chocolate brew.
Years later, when I returned to Spain as a non-coffee drinking adult with my soon-to-be husband, I made it my mission to try hot chocolate in every town we visited. Each cup seemed better than the last, and I came to equate Spain with this luscious drink, so thick, you could eat it with a spoon. Really, it would be more appropriate to classify Spanish hot chocolate as a dessert, rather than a breakfast beverage, but chocolate lovers could never stand the deprivation in the morning. We must have our chocolate to start the day.
On my most recent trip to Spain, however, it was not to be. I was hugely disappointed when orders for hot chocolate were answered with the powdered Cola Koa, which proved to be a unfair substitution. Finally, after a week in the country, we reached Santiago de Compostela, where I noticed a machine churning chocolate in one of the bars. Could it be? I finally received the chocolate of which I held such fond memories, but the true prize was still to come.
Back in Madrid, my friend, Molly, took me to the most famous chocolate shop in town: Chocolateria San Gines, which originallyopened its doors in 1894. Here you may find the best cup of chocolate in town, served with three fresh churros on the side for dipping. The moment I had waited for had arrived.
You too can try the Chocolateria San Gines. Here’s the address and telephone number if you find yourself in Madrid:
Pasadizo de San Gines, 5, Madrid 28013, Tel. +34 91 365 6546
I am already looking forward to my next cup, whenever that may be.
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