The sweet, satisfying and addictive taste of chocolate is a worldwide phenomenon. People from all corners of the globe would agree that chocolate is an undeniably delicious treat! And for those wishing to experience everything that the cocoa bean has to offer, the city of Barcelona is one destination you absolutely have to visit. With some of most delectable chocolate stores, cafés and restaurants in Europe, a tour through the culture of chocolate in Barcelona, is a must! Indulge your sweet tooth while you learn all about the origins of this sweet treat from Spanish chocolate shops and the famous Museo de la Xocolata in the Catalan capital.
Chocolate in Barcelona: A Sweet Tale
Introduced more than 500 years ago, some might say that chocolate is now a staple in the cultural hub of Barcelona. After conquering the Mayan and Aztec empires of Central America, Hernan Cortés was the man responsible for bringing the cocoa bean to Spain, and subsequently introducing a new drink called ‘chocolatl’. This beverage was a cold, chocolate-based drink, and was originally made with chili peppers, as well as vanilla and other flavorings. The drink can still be found around Spain today, although some detective work may be required to find it!
Over the years, chocolate has been through many changes, including the sweetening process. Currently, this sugary delight can be found in plenty of shapes and sizes throughout Barcelona, and with endless flavors, every palate will be satisfied.
Barcelona is also host to some of the most celebrated confectionaries in Europe, including Xocoa, a store specializing in the art of chocolate. With flavors ranging from Jamaican pepper to Rosemary, as well as chocolate based body products, this store is definitely worth a visit. Another notable chocolate store in Barcelona is Cacao Sampaka. A shop that specializes in the sale of chocolate ingredients for cooking, chocolate spreads, as well as chocolate fondues and sauces, you are sure to leave with a few treats!
Barcelona Chocolate Museum: A Sweet Retreat
For those interested in the rich history of the cocoa bean, a trip to the Barcelona Chocolate Museum is sure to answer all of your questions. Home to Barcelona’s Confectionery Guild, visitors can take a look at how chocolate is made, as well as see hand-sculpted chocolate statues – good enough to eat!
Guests are greeted upon entrance to this fantastic museum by a giant white chocolate ape, known as Snowy. They are then handed their own bar of chocolate to munch on as they wander through the building, taking a tour around the many chocolate statues and monuments ranging from Minnie Mouse and Louis Armstrong, to the Sagrada Familia and creations from Parc Güell: all made out of delectable chocolate!
Visitors are also given the chance to view the traditional machinery that was formerly used to make chocolate. An in-depth look is offered into the entire chocolate creation process, from selecting the cocoa bean to the minute you indulge in it!
If you are making your way to Barcelona with children, be sure to make time for an individual workshop called “Chocolate Artists”: a one-hour program, offered daily, focusing on the creation of chocolate figurines.
El Museu de la Xocolata is located at Carrer de Comerç, 36, right across from Parc de la Ciutadella. The museum is open Monday to Saturday, 10am to 7pm and 10am to 3pm on Sundays with an entrance fee of around 5€.
Need a Chocolate Fix?
A trip to Barcelona wouldn’t be complete without a taste of the traditional delicacy known as chocolate con churros! Best described as long, thin doughnuts, dusted with sugar, churros are most commonly found in a loop shape and can be found in the typical Spanish cafés known as granjas. Typically, churros are served with a hot chocolate so thick and creamy that it can be enjoyed with a spoon, but it is customary to dip your churros into the sweet drink to get a real authentic taste of the Spanish dessert.
The city of Barcelona is home to plenty of granjas, although some remain to be hidden treasures. The more famous granjas include La Pallaresa, located on a street best known for chocolate in Barcelona: Carrer de Petritxol. Situated in the Gothic Quarter, this charming little café is always bustling with locals and tourists alike. Mostly known for its churros and hot chocolate, La Pallaresa also offers other sweet delights such as crema Catalana and muffins.
So, whether you simply like to indulge in a sweet treat once in a while, or consider yourself a chocolate connoisseur, experiencing the culture of chocolate in Barcelona is certainly worth a slice of your time while visiting this amazing city. And for those renting one of the many apartments in Barcelona, don’t miss the traditional chocolate con churros or the chance to lose yourself in the streets that are lined with unique confectioneries. No trip would be complete without a visit to the extravagant Chocolate Museum… this is your opportunity to enjoy one of the Catalan capital’s most delicious delicacies, and even take part of it home as a souvenir for the chocoholics in your family!
Check out Apartment Barcelona’s video about Chocolate con Churros!