Hi, I’m heading to Spain next month. I usually but a county’s chocolate bars to bring home for friends and family and I usually buy them at the airport on my way out. I’ve heard that Valor chocolate is one of the best in Spain. I’m flying into Madrid but out of Barcelona, will they be available at the Barcelona airport? From my reading it sounds like Barcelona is somewhat different then the rest of Spain so just wondering if it’s okay to wait until I get to BCN to get them. Also, is there any other brand I should consider?
I suppose everyone has got his taste, but IMHO, Valor is not by far a "good" chocolate, not event half decent. No region in Spain is really known for "chocolate". Try instead wine, olive oil, mushrooms (the ones you eat, not you smoke!), pastries, torrons, ... and a bunch of other food, but not chocolate.
Something else is "xocolata desfeta" (here in Catalonia) or "chocolate caliente" in other regions in Spain... that's a hot chocolate served in some "granges" -known in Catalonia. A granja , literally 'farm', but it's also the name by which certain establishments in urban areas are known for. They serve hot chocolates, pastries, coffee and tea... think a tea room in other countries, or also a milk bar as it's known in certain Eastern European countries.
Anyway, this is a very rich silky chocolate served with pastries, sometimes *melindros* sometimes xurros (google for these!) that's to die for. Contrary to the runny hot chocolate served in other countries, this is very rich, you actually don't really drink it but eat it with a spoon. It's said that in a good "xocolata desfeta" your "melindro" needs to stand on its own when dunked :)) [those that have lived in Catalonia might or might not know this sentence has a double meaning, chicky, LOL!).
You can buy this chocolate in bars, but they're not for eating directly (it's hard as a rock) but to be melted. And certainly, it's best enjoyed when served in a granja than making it yourself at home! When in Barcelona: Viader, La Dulcinea, La Granja 1872, La Pallaresa, and, my preferred, La Nena (in Gràcia)
I can't say that I've eaten any decent Spanish chocolate in Spain. The kids like Milka but that's gone downhill recently. If we need a chocolate fix then it's usually Ritter Sport.
For info... the most popular brands... Milka, Nestle, Lindt... are all Swiss :)
I second Enric: the chocolate you should get is the one specifically made for Spanish hot chocolate, sold in BIG bars (200g or more). It is actually a mixture of chocolate and some thickening starch or flour. The bars usually read "Chocolate a la taza", and I wouldn't wait until the airport to get them - a supermarket will carry them.
I actually like Valor, not my absolute favourites, but still fairly decent. I especially like the one mixed with Marcona Almonds, a very Spanish flavour. As mentioned above, they are readily available all over Spain, el Corte Ingles will probably have the best selection (but you can find them on Amazon too lol), you can also get the Valor chocolate bar specifically for making hot chocolate - https://www.amazon.com/Valor-Chocolate-Taza-Spain-makes/dp/B000BTD0IY
Also Valor has Chocolaterias in all the major cites in Spain, including Barcelona, where they serve their traditional Spanish-style hot chocolate - https://www.valor.es/en/carta-chocolaterias-valor/gourmet-chocolate-drinks/
If you want a Spanish peanut & chocolate treat, you could try Conguitos. Not so much for the chocolate (which isn't great), but the eyebrow raising racist packaging. Just a few days ago the brand was dragged into a Twitter controversy in Manchester.
Valor chocolate bars are sold in many grocery stores. A couple days ago I saw it in a store in Santiago de Compostela (dark and milk). Buy it in a store and save yourself some money. I can’t think of any other Spanish brands. El Cortes Ingles had a nice selection of Valor chocolate bars when I stopped in today, so check it. If I remember correctly, there is an El Cortes Ingles supermarket at Plaza Catalunya in Barcelona.
If you want a Spanish peanut & chocolate treat, you could try Conguitos. Not so much for the chocolate (which isn't great), but the eyebrow raising racist packaging.
I wouldn't describe the packaging as racist as that would involve some degree of prejudice or superiority, none of which is evident however I would agree that it's dated and not appropriate in today's world. As for the Twitter meltdown, I haven't read it but knowing how easily and desperately some people want to take offence at anything it wouldn't surprise me that it's caused a furore.
I'll keep a look out for them when I'm in Spain in a few weeks, I like a peanut/chocolate combo so it'll be interesting to see how they compare.
@ the OP. The majority of chocolate available at the airport is typically the same as at most European airports, big bars of Milka, Toblerone, Dime/Daim and Lindt. You may have to hunt around for the small 'local speciality section'.
Hi, a nice chocolatey gift for friends back home are tins of chocolates (and bars) by Ametller — the tins, in both small, pocket-size and larger are decorated with modernista imagery and the cocolate is ok. There are several artesanal chocolate makers in Barcelona worth checking out.
You should be able to get Valor chocolate in just about any supermarket.
Enjoy your trip.
I am a fan of Valor. It’s going to be a treat for anyone in the States. I like their dark chocolate and the dark chocolate with orange.
Thanks all! I’ll probably have more time to shop in Madrid so I’ll buy them there as I also want to get the hot chocolate bars/mix to bring home. I was hoping to buy at the airport on my way home to avoid carrying them around the country with me but I also emailed Valor and got a response that said only the candy bars would be available at BCN so I’ll probably go to the Carrefour or El Corte Ingles for best selection. Also, I’m planning to have churros and chocolate daily while on holiday!
You may well save a lot of money by purchasing the chocolate at a supermarket. The prices at airports always seem really high to me.