Friday, January 17, 2014

A Taste of Spain!

I'm lucky enough to have a Spanish friend here who goes home to Spain every so often and brings me back little food gifts!  She knows I used to live there and that I miss certain things.  One of my favorite things she brought back was the Cola Cao, pictured above.  I can actually buy Cola Cao here in the Portuguese markets, but not the "Original" kind, which is the kind I grew up with, so she brought this back for me.  I loved seeing and remembering the old container, just like the ones I used to know.  :)  My kids LOVE Cola Cao- it's chocolaty and you mix it with either hot or cold milk.  I think it's so much better than any American hot cocoa mix.  I love hot chocolate- but either make my own from scratch, from a homemade mix, or this. There are no weird ingredients.  One of my sons has been having a mug of warm Cola Cao every morning lately, as it is pretty cold here right now.  I'm lucky that I can buy it here, like I said- they sell the "Energy" kind here, and some other ones.  The newer ones dissolve more easily that "Original".  Want to buy some Original Cola Cao?  Check out La Tienda- it's even on sale! :)
One Spanish treat that I can get here easily is Magdalena muffins- small, sweet and lemony muffins that are common to have for breakfast.  In fact, two of my kids are loving to have a Magdalena and some hot Cola Cao for breakfast lately.  So Spanish!  I just found a recipe for homemade Magdalenas, which I am anxious to try.  

Another treat I loved from Spain but haven't had since I lived there is polvorónes.  They are little melt-in-your mouth cookies, so soft and buttery because the amount of fat (usually pork lard!) that they contain.  I grew up taking an individually-packaged cookie and squishing it in my hand.  Then you open the package and eat the cookie.  It is soooo good- crumbly, but with a melt-in-your mouth texture.  They are traditionally eaten at Christmas time.  Some of them are also called "mantecados".  Well, this year, my friend was nice enough to bring me back a bag of these.  I was SO EXCITED!!!!  I ate them pretty quickly, lol, leaving me to search the internet for recipes I can make at home. 



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