Monday, August 29, 2011

summer means horchata

sta catalina

horchata, which is original from valencia, is the traditional summer beverage in spain. looking like milk it is indeed the milk from chufas or tigernuts. a very refreshing nutritious beverage so in  indulging you're killing two birds with one shot , no junk soda or empty calories here. the recipe slightly varies with every place so no two drinks  taste the same.


there is also a social component to it because people meet in the places which sell it, called horchaterias, for a glass and a chat. and usually a cake or pastry goes with it too. it is the social institution called la merienda, a late afternoon snack that serves as an excuse for  meeting friends and chatting about the day.

horchaterias are usually decorated with tiles and have marble tables which give them a clean and homey atmosphere. some of them like the santa catalina  in valencia have been going for two hundred years and  are proud keepers of  their old fashioned flair.
with globalization filling the corners of the world with starbucks,horchaterias are charming bastions full of personality enticing people with their popular drink.

 if you come across some tigernuts here's a recipe and some interesting trivia.

neki desu
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  1. i think i could get used to this practice...and the beautiful horchateria!

  2. trish at tangled threads4:26 PM

    Neki, your blog is always so much fun to read. Thanks for telling us about this interesting and fun custom. Trish

  3. Nothing better than an ice-cold horchata on a hot summer afternoon. In Madrid, I always loved to go to el Paseo del Pintor Rosales and have one on the terraces overlooking the Casa de Campo.

    (Though my favorite summer drink is a blanco y negro...)

  4. sounds so civilized, wonderful tradition. I love the white iron? and marble table - and the black and white tiles. can just imagine settling in for a drink and gossip.

  5. Sounds yummy. Must find an occasion to try it.


interaction appreciated!


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