Global Gulp: Spanish Hot Chocolate

Barcelona’s Granja Dulcinea has been steaming chocolate for decades

Some of the best Spanish hot chocolate is made in Barcelona.

Generations of Spaniards have started their days or ended their nights dunking crunchy churros into thick hot chocolate. We couldn’t think of a better way to start (or finish) the day.

The drink: Chocolate a la Española, Spanish hot chocolate, is pure dark chocolate that is thick enough to eat with a spoon. A variation of the semi-sweet drink is chocolate Suiza, which is equally rich but served with tufts of whipped cream.

The Spanish hot chocolate’s origins: Originating with the Mayans more than 2,000 years ago, hot chocolate was introduced to Spain in the 1500s. Piping hot, crispy xurros (churros) are most often dunked in Spanish hot chocolate but xuixo, a Catalan pastry filled with thick custard and dusted with sugar, is also a popular accompaniment.

Where to buy a Spanish hot chocolate: Chocolaterias (Spanish for chocolate shop) all over Spain serve it, but one of the best is hidden in the winding alleyways of Barri Gòtic in Barcelona. The old-school Granja Dulcinea, founded by Joan and l’Elvira Farràs Mach, has been serving the steamed beverage for more than 75 years. Try the chocolat épais with melindros, Catalan sugar-coated lady finger biscuits.

Not headed to Spain anytime soon? Make your own Spanish hot chocolate and churros.