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Chocolate is for Lovers

For those of you who, along with me, would prefer hot chocolate to pastries if made to choose, then I have the authentic Spanish recipe for you:

Use the Valor Chocolate A La Taza 10.5 ounce chocolate bar that is made only in Spain, but has been exported to the U.S. The Valor bar is a chocolate intended for consumption after cooking and uses rice flour as the thickening agent. Heat whole milk on the stove. When warm, add 4 oz. of chocolate for each 6 1/2 oz. of milk. Stir constantly over low heat. Just before boiling, remove from heat. Let chocolate settle for a few minutes before pouring into a cup placed on a saucer; then, drink slowly. Be sure to use a spoon to get out the last bit of chocolate! Now, just imagine sipping your drink slowly on a moon-lit evening in an outdoor plaza heated with flaming torches, in the shadow of the ancient cathedral with street musicians providing enchanting tunes, while watching couples, young and elderly, walking arm in arm, relishing the moment. That’s the Spanish experience! And that’s why I say, “Chocolate is for lovers!” Let Wayne have his pastry:-)

Since many of you have inquired, I am also delighted to share with you the story of this traditional hot chocolate drink with which I have fallen in love, like most of the Spanish people ever since Christopher Columbus discovered cacao beans used by native Americans in 1502. It was Hernando Cortez, though, who sent cacao beans back to Spain in 1544. The Spanish explorers liked the drink made from cacao, but added something that the Mayans and Aztecs could not: cane sugar. Though the Spaniards brought cacao back to Spain, they incredibly kept the discovery a secret from the rest of Europe for almost a century! Once the rest of Europe tasted this new drink, it became a fad that swept across the continent. The nobility and elite of Europe were the only ones who could afford to drink chocolate, since it was made from two expensive imports – sugar cane and cacao. Finally, in the 1800s, the technology of the Industrial Revolution helped transform chocolate from liquid form into solid bars; thus, mass production made the delicacy affordable to the rest of the population.

Chocolate drinking establishments in Spain are called chocolaterias where the sweet, rich beverage and cakes and pastries are served. The story is told that the Spanish people were so enamored with the drink that the Pope was asked to change the rules regarding fasting to exclude chocolate! It seems that on every street here in Seville is an establishment that serves the thick, rich chocolate drink “con churros” (hot chocolate with fritters).

Come visit us in our home after our return to Tomball, and we can enjoy the Spanish experience together. I’m going to sneak a few Valor Chocolate A La Taza bars into my suitcase before leaving Seville. Just don’t let Wayne know; I’ve told him he cannot stuff pastries into the suitcase! KG

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24 Comments

  1. Becky Cook says:

    I love chocolate! I’m going to go to World Market and HEB and find the Valor chocolate! Thanks for sharing…both the recipe and your wonderful encore life!

  2. natalie says:

    I am going to try that this evening if I can find the chocolate! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    • wgraumann says:

      Natalie, this is Kathy. Please let me know where you find the chocolate. I can’t hide enough bars in my suitcase for all the hot chocolate parties I want to have when we return home!

  3. Jana Drake-Tornga says:

    Sounds like I need to move to Seville! YUM! Chocolate on every corner! You sure that’s not HEAVEN! LOL!

  4. dshusfeld says:

    Kathy – I think you will need to set up an iinport/export business when you get back. The hot chocolate sounds wonderful.

  5. dianne reese says:

    Oh what a lovely experience and thanks for sharing. We must have a hot chocolate party upon your return. Love, Dianne

    • wgraumann says:

      Dianne, This is Kathy. I LOVE your idea. Yes, we will have a Spanish hot chocolate party at my house upon our return! I will also serve cafe con leche. Mmm, I must introduce you to that, too.

  6. Bonnie Finstad says:

    Thank you for sharing the recipe!! I wonder if even Fiesta carries that chocolate… I think we will all be out hunting it down!! I agree with you Kathy, a suitcase full of chocolate over a pastry. Thank you for sharing so much on your blogs & your pictures!!

  7. natalie says:

    Kathy, I found this wonderful website http://www.tienda.com .They are called “LA TIENDA” The best of Spain.They have everything that you could imagine! I am ordering the chocolate as well as some queen olives!

    • Melisa Standly says:

      throw a few in there for Florence…maybe we’ll find some great “chocolate thing” in Italy….we are starting to pack tonight….so much to remember

      • wgraumann says:

        Have fun getting ready, don’t stress–anything forgotten can be undone in Italy somehow–we are flexible–get pumped enough to be excited, not too much to not be able to sleep on the plane–we will see you soon now–hows all that for friendly advice:-) 🙂 Btw–we have moved our apartment to Naples. 🙂 See you in Florence when you arrive–if all communication fails, the apartment address is–Via Vigna Nuova 17, Entry phone “C ERnesto”. The apartment is in the real center of Florence between Duomo Square and the Arno River. It is on a street by Armani, Bulgari and Versace. If I remember my street view the Bulgari store is almost across the street. There should be a guest information center in the train station, look for the big i, usually blue in color–They will have maps and can even tell you the best way to get to the apartment. I do not think cars can drive in that area so a cab will drop you close but not in front and I think it is a 10 to 15 minute walk from the train station to the apartment. There could be trams or buses that get you close as well. All that was for just in case all communication fails.

        If we know your arrival time–try to call–(my number is 637116446) and I’ll meet you at the train station. In Seville they do not let you pick up people at the platform, in Granada they did–I do not know security protocol in Florence, so if I am not at the platform when you get off, I will be in the main terminal. Are you dizzy now with information? Kathy and I are old hands at this now and it really is not complicated.

        Joy in Jesus, WEG

        Sent from my iPad

      • wgraumann says:

        You can be sure we will, Melisa! We also want to prepare paella for you. I can’t begin to imagine all the new foods from Italy that we will also include in our cooking repertoire before we return home! Fun, fun! Kathy

    • wgraumann says:

      Natalie, this is Kathy. I went to the website…how cool! It even provides recipes for some of Wayne’s favorite pastries. Yeah! Thank you for sharing.

  8. Jr & Ola Mae says:

    Kathy, I love hot chocolate to & so does Jr. I am going to look for the chocolate so I can make us some here.

  9. Nancy McCollum says:

    This sounds incredibly rich and delicious. I’ll look for some of that chocolate. I don’t suppose a Hershey bar would do, right?

    • wgraumann says:

      Sorry, it would not–because this particular Spanish chocolate is made with rice flower in order to have the chocolate melt and thicken properly for the drink–I am not saying the Hershey’s wouldn’t taste good however.

  10. W & K, I just love adventuring virtually with you! Vaya con Dios!

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