When we walked down to the beach on the Rambla del Poblenou we always saw a crowd in front of a shop that sells ice cream and some stuff that looked like milkshake. We didn’t really understand what’s the fuss is about as you can get icecream everywhere and surely people can’t be so excited about milkshakes!
One day when it was still siesta in most shops I walked down on the Rambla and I noticed that there was nobody waiting in front of the shop. ‘This is my chance!’ I thought, and sauntered in trying to look like I know what I’m doing looking at the menu that was only displayed in Catalan. In a few minutes I gave up and waited for somebody to tell me what can I chose from.
A very nice guy came to my rescue and told me that what they sell is not a milkshake but horchata (orxata in Catalan). I have heard it mentioned before but I never knew what it is exactly and as I was the only customer the guy was happy to explain it to me.
Apparently the origin of the drink comes from Valencia and it is made from tigernuts, water and sugar. The result is an incredibly refreshing, sweet tasting milky drink that has only one problem, it finishes too quickly!
Later I took Paul to the place to try it and he got converted after the first sip! I took the advice of my intercambio friend, Juan Carlos, and I asked for a ball of icecream in mine. This time there was a very long queue in front of the shop and the guy who served me did not speak English. He asked which kind of icecream I want in it and offered 3 different tastes that I did not understand so at the end he said he will put in the one he likes the best. It was nutty flavoured and blended perfectly with the taste of the horchata.
According to Juan Carlos there are only a few places in Barcelona where you can get a good horchata and the one on the Rambla del Poblenou is one of the best ones. This explains the long queues we always see in front of the shop! It is called El Tío Ché and has been making horchata for over 100 years. You can find it under Rambla del Poblenue, 44 - 46.