“La Rambla” , in the heart of the City, is Barcelona’s great strolling boulevard and the centerpiece of life in this Catalan capital. You can find crowds at all hours of the day filing past vendors, food markets, cafes, and historic buildings.
Walking down the main avenue of “La Rambla” you will find a lively sucession of newspaper kiosks, fresh flower stands (with cheaper prices than other parts of the city), bird sellers, candy stands, and crowd-friendly human statues in their costumes and face paint (my apologies that I was not able to take their pictures yet, but some of these human statues look so real and scary …).
“La Rambla” is actually composed of five smaller streets (Rambla de Canaletes, Rambla del Estudis, Rambla de Sant Josep, Rambla dels Caputxins, and Rambla de Santa Monica). Each street has its character that makes it unique and attractive in its own.
Walking down this streets you really have to watch your valuables, meaning: get your purse close to your sight and avoid distractions. Kind of hard thing to do when you have so many things that are trying to catch your attention, like those vendors who make peculiar noises like bird singing, in order for you to come closer to them.
Despite all the nice and attractive shoe and fashion stores (ok, you guessed it again, I am crazy for fashion too!) that I could also find at “La Rambla” and the temptation of getting into the shopping mode, I was determinated to get my mission done. I was in the search of one of Barcelona’s oldest and best-known pastry and chocolate shop since 1906. This little shop on “La Rambla” with a shimmering Modernista exterior of colorful broken glazed tiles, á la Gaudí, is one of the 3 shops owned by the succesful Escribá family. A stop here was essential!
This little shop has a nice tea salon inside and an outdoor cafe as well. I got some pain du chocolat and croissants to go and definetely I will be back for more!. From bollerías (bread), artisan chocolates, seasonal pastries to wedding cakes, this patisserie is worth to be visited.
All along “La Rambla” you will find more sweet spots where you can delight your eyes and satisfy your cravings for sweets
candies, nougats, candied nuts, chocolates, pastries ….
cookies, caramelized nuts …
Xocolata a la pedra (chocolate brick) is what you need to achieve a delicious, thick and rich hot chocolate with whipped cream, known as a suís (Swiss), very popular in the cafés
Very close to La Rambla, we can find another jewel in the pastry shop world named: “Planelles Donat”
The family Planelles Donat has known to transmit during generations (open since 1850) the spirit of quality and tradition in the elaboration of its “torrons” (nougats) and small sweets based on marzipan with diverse forms and flavours called “panellets”
In addition to the assortment of delicious “torrons” and “panellets” made with pine nuts and those flavored with coffee, lemon or quince among many others, at “Planelles Donat” we can find ice creams and tiger nut milk, “Orxata”. This is a whitish milk liquid that is obtained from a tiny and very tasty tuber: the tiger nut!
Being advised by my friend Jacky, I asked specifically for the “Xixona torron”. This delicious nougat is made following the traditional production based in almonds, sugar, honey… it has an oily and granulated texture that is achieved by carefully toasting the almonds and mixing them with honey. Those of my friends addictive to the Argentinian nougat called :“Mantecol” will love this Xixona nougat.
I have to confess that after buying these sweet treats and taking them home, I literally devoured this “torron”. It was so good that I could not stop eating it.. ok, I did share some with my friend but the rest of it was ALL mine. Extra time at the gym followed….