Rascafria: 27th November 2013
When I returned home from Torrecaballeros in 2012, I found a chocolate shop had opened on Madrid Airport. Of course, I bought chocolate … and found it surprisingly good. Although I’d never really figured Spain as a chocolate-producing country, this was on a par with the products of Switzerland or Belgium.
And, on our walk into Rascafria, we found a shop and factory which made the stuff. Of course, I think almost without exception, we all bought some. And, I was especially glad we had our Spanish companions along.
‘Do you really want that?’ I was told ‘That’s diabetic chocolate!’
I didn’t, and was steered toward the ‘real’ chocolate.
There was a window between the shop and the factory, through which we could watch what was going on … which, I had to admit, was not a lot. Perhaps most of the industry happens when the shop closes?
But, I was reminded of a visit to a chocolate factory in Belgium on a coach tour some years ago. We were taken to a long corridor, with a window all the way down one side, through which we could see a number of white-overalled people stirring brown stuff.
‘This is where we make the chocolate!’ (We’d kind of worked that out for ourselves)
Then … I swear I heard her counting to twenty under her breath:
‘If you follow me, I will take you to the shop, where you can buy some of our delicious chocolate!’
Later.,I saw our driver and courier heading for the coach, each carrying an industrial-sized box of pralines. Did they buy them, I wondered, or was it baksheesh for bringing a busload of tourists to the factory? From their furtive body language, I suspected the latter.
On this occasion, I was very good. I took most of that chocolate home. And, very nice it was, too! But, I wonder if most of what was bought that afternoon ever made it out of Rascafria, let alone to the airport!