Cocoa beans, that is, and that´s just one of the things you can learn at Barcelona´s Museum of Chocolate :
- The Aztec word xocoatl means “bitter water” — lily-livered Europeans were the first to flavor it with milk and sugar.
- The scientific name Theobroma means “food of the gods” — an editorial comment by Linnaeus with which I thoroughly agree.
- In my childhood, chocolate was one of the treats young Catholics were urged to give up for Lent. But Medieval monks were allowed plenty of chocolate during their many religious fasts — IMO, a classic early example of the way technology creates new temptations much faster than bureaucrats can create new sins.
Time to get off this smoky cafe computer, so hasta la vista*! Oh, one more discovery today–Barcelona hot chocolate is thick and black, like melted Hershey bars or hot chocolate pudding. I drank half a demitasse and I won´t need any lunch–not that I´m complaining!
* Also “fins aviat”–Josep Perarnau reminds me that Barcelona is in Catalonia as well as Spain, so the Catalan “see you later” is also on topic…