viernes, julio 20, 2007

Funky flavors of Cacao Sampaka

Cacao Sampaka, Barcelona

[Tasting Menu: flavored cold cocoa]

Food gifts are my favorite kinds of gifts to give. In lieu of touristy souvenirs knick-knacks I would rather get some uniquely packaged honey, chocolate, tapanade that is characteristic of the city. In Barcelona, I have found that my chocolate gifts from Cacao Sampaka are a sure winner.

I introduced T to this warmly lit shop with an array of cocoa products smacked in the middle of Rambla Catalunya, the street parallel to Passeig de Gracia – the 5th Avenue of Barcelona. We happily stuffed our baskets with hostess gifts for the next couple of trips we’re making visiting friends. What took us a hard time deciding was which series of funky flavors we should pick for the chocolate gift boxes. There were eight of them all, very innovative selections including “Truffles-coated in bitter chocolate” and “Gastronomic innovations”. It’s a very common thing for the locals to present these “bombones” when they’re invited over for Sunday dinner, so it’s a right-on business model for the owners.

Cacao Sampaka, Barcelona

[Curry-flavored chocolate, anyone?]

The “Spices from the Americas” series for example has flavors like ginger and lemon; Jamaican pepper; cinnamon, coffee and cardamom. My favorite product in the shop are the “tabletas” shaped in two thin unconventional bars and packaged in a sleek plastic wrapper that purports to best preserve the flavors of the chocolate. They come in a great selection of flavors and textures as well as cocoa content. My two favorite are the dark chocolates. One with 71% cocoa content and raspberry- flavored, the other one with 60% cocoa and bergamot-infused.

We decided to take a break from all that walking and shopping at the in-store café. What caught our attention was a tasting menu of liquid cocoa in flavors that we get to choose from. We were completely delighted to taste the teaspoonfuls of cold cocoa, in flavors like saffron and orange, honey and vanilla, and jasmine tea. It was a shame we just feasted on an impromptu tapas meal, otherwise we would have gone for the bitter chocolate fondue with seasonal fruits. Well, all the more, it gives us an excuse to pop by again the next time we visit Barcelona at the end of August.

In the know:
Cacao Sampaka
C/ Consell de Cent, 292 • 08007 Barcelona
Tel. 93 272 08 33

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5 Hand-picked Olive[s]:

Anonymous Paz picked an olive...

Welcome back from Japan! I love the new look of your blog. Awesome!

Paz (who's never had curry-flavored chocolate)

10:42 p. m., julio 21, 2007

 
Blogger *kel picked an olive...

Thanks for dropping me a note. I know..curry chocolates? I've been hooked with chili chocs tho. have you had some? Lindt makes them? I'm sure you can get it in NYC. xx

10:13 p. m., julio 25, 2007

 
Anonymous Rita picked an olive...

i like what you've done to your blog, foods by location! easy to navigate through your stories of good eats.

:) Rita

1:43 a. m., julio 26, 2007

 
Blogger Caroline@Bibliocook picked an olive...

That place is great - I bought some amazing cocoa when I was there earlier this year. On the way home, it scented the clothes it was packed with far better than any perfume!

11:59 p. m., julio 27, 2007

 
Blogger *kel picked an olive...

Caroline, my mum just got some as presents - both the regular dark cocoa powder and the super rich and thick ones you make with just milk. I'm sure she flew across the continents to Asia with a heavenly-scented suitcase as well, I'd have to ask her!

10:53 p. m., agosto 03, 2007

 

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