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‘One horchata, please!’

The Spanish love cold snacks, as is underlined by the many ice-cream parlours you’ll see. Typically Spanish is horchata, a delicious, refreshing drink for the warm summer months. The drink is also popular around Christmas, when people dip turrón, a kind of nougat, in their horchata. In Barcelona you’ll find the drink under orxata, its Catalan name.

Culinary

Uncle Ché’s horchata

El Tío Ché is the oldest horchatería in Barcelona, located in the Poblenou district since 1912. According to the current owner, his great-grandfather (Uncle Ché) ended up in Barcelona by accident. His original plan to emigrate to Argentina fell apart when he fell in love with a Barcelona girl while waiting for the boat. Uncle Ché owes his nickname to the way he attracted his customers : ‘Xe, prova!’ (Hey, try this!).

Horchata

Horchata

Two-litre bottles at Sirvent

Another place where the people of Barcelona like to get their fresh horchata is at Sirvent. This horchatería is located on the Carrer del Parlament and still uses the same traditional recipe with the best earth almonds from Valencia. And it works. Three generations later, the queues in summer are as long as ever. Sirvent is so popular that there is enormous demand for their two-litre bottles. Thankfully the drink can also be ordered by the glass.

Chufas, or earth almonds

Chufas, or earth almonds

Health benefits

True addicts will agree: horchata does wonders for your health. The ancient Persians and Arabs were already convinced of this fact and drank horchata for medicinal purposes. If you’re in need of a serious energy boost, forget about coffee and order a horchata. The drink is rich in minerals such as calcium, magnesium and iron, and also lowers your cholesterol levels. To ensure optimal quality, a horchata committee ensures that only horchata with earth almonds from Valencia, often hand-picked, are used.

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