Celebrating the Spain-Japan dual year with chocolate tasting
Does a tea and chocolate tasting sound appealing to you? One of my favorite chocolate shops in Barcelona has decided to celebrate the Spain-Japan dual year in a very creative way:
In collaboration with chef Javier Molina they organize one a week and until July 30, 2014* a very special chocolate tasting inspired in the trip of Hasekura Tsunenaga, a Japanese samurai that in the 1600’s traveled around the world in a diplomatic mission that visited amongst other Mexico (in those times, under the Spanish Empire), Spain and Italy. So they have got inspired by his adventures and the local products to design an enticing green tea and chocolate tasting.
*Don’t be sad if you are coming to Barcelona later: I can still organize for you a delicious chocolate tasting! (although without the chocolate and tea pairing)
SPOILER ALERT: If you are planning to go, don’t read the following! It’s way more fun if everything comes up as a surprise!
These are the 5 stages of this chocolate tasting around the world (without leaving Barcelona):
Preparing the trip. Pack up your luggage and prepare some food supplies: you are going to need them for a long trip. And get your body and your mind warmed up to start strong. This sweet travel bread with umeboshi plums and ginger, paired to a shot of vibrant matcha tea will give you the strength to depart your journey.
Mexico. It’s been weeks at sea, your skin tastes of sea salt… And finally, the coast of Mexico appears far in the skyline. There you are going to discover a food that the indigenous consider the food of gods: cacao. A chocolate cream topped with hiziki seaweed will bring together the magic of this stage of the journey, its flavor softened by cracked hazelnuts that will remind you of the sound of the prow reaching the coast.
Spain. After crossing the ocean, the sea salt has become almost part of your body and soul. But you’ve reached the seat of the Empire, with refined inhabitants and smell of olive oil. You are presented now with an olive oil sponge cake topped with iced chocolate mousse and a touch of salt.
Italy. You can’t leave Europe without paying your respects to the most important religious power: the Pope. In this country you’ll be seduced by their herbs. But you can’t stay: home is calling you. A basil mousse over matcha tea sablé and topped with yuzu air will prepare you for the last stage of your trip.
Back to Japan. It’s great to be back home and recover the familiar smells and flavors, but you can’t leave behind one of your most appreciated discoveries from your journey: cacao. Celebrate your arrival to Japan with a toast of hydrated (not infused) matxa tea: cover it with a black sesame guirlache while you wait for it to be ready and nibble some peanuts covered in white chocolate and sprinkled with wasabi powder.
AND BONUS! Here is where and when to enjoy such a fascinating trip:
Cacao Sampaka is the name of this wonderful shop, and they are organizing their Hasekura Tsunenaga Journey in their Barcelona store at 292, Consell de Cent st. every Wednesday afternoon from 5pm to 7.30pm (until July 30, 2014. By previous reservation only: [email protected]
So what about you? Head to the comments below and tells us: Are you a tea and chocolate lover?