It seems only fitting that the first museum I would visit in Barcelona would be the Museu de la Xocolata, or chocolate museum. We chose it based on its child-friendly topic (for friends of ours with toddlers) and low admission price. I, of course, secretly harbored a hope for delicious chocolate samples, but honestly didn’t know what to expect.
It turns out the museum exhibits a combination of chocolate artistry and Spanish imperialism. The first half is devoted to the Spanish discovery of chocolate in the New World, with sort-of-hokey displays and videos showcasing its use by the Aztecs and importance to Spanish confectionery culture.
The remaining display space was devoted to a fascinating display of chocolate art. Besides the obvious technical skill involved in creating the works, I couldn’t help being overly intrigued in whether any of them were actually edible, and if so, would they be tasty?
Chocolate art aside, what good is chocolate with no opportunity to eat it? Luckily, the museum of chocolate is also a working confectionery, where pastry chefs come to learn and practice the art of working with chocolate. An assortment of chocolate treats is available in the “gift shop” as it were:
The chocolates were beautiful, but the item that drew me the most were the tiny cups of hot chocolate – no bigger than espresso shots. I watched a table leave theirs and was amazed by the thick residue left in the cups. This seemed to be a much different thing than Nestle.
After the first sip, everyone at our table had a thick, sticky chocolate mustache. The fluid in the cups was like drinking hot fudge, but not as sweet. And unlike many chocolate items in the States, it didn’t leave you aching for a glass of water afterwards. The texture was luscious and velvety – but definitely not something you’d put into a huge mug. Just a very special treat, as the Aztecs intended, without the bitter aftertaste.