“Desig de xocolata” by Care Santos is true “chocolate love” novel consisting of three stories from three different times. You might ask how it is possible. It is. All of them have three unifying elements – chocolate and one white porcelain chocolate pot …. and three loving women. Before going to the stories themselves, let me tell you a few words about chocolate in the Pearl of Cataluña.
Barcelona is a city of secrets, architectural masterpieces and a long tradition in confectionary. It is one of the first places in which chocolate was turned into a specialty for local aristocracy. Actually, the first confectioner was born namely here. His name was Fernández and he created apparatus for processing cocoa and he constructed a port which was a starting point for ships with “chocolate cargo” produced in the big chocolate factories of the city in the 19th century. Thus he laid the foundations of this profitable industry which brought much wealth to local confectioners and the city itself. Moreover, Easter Monas (La Mona de Pascua is a traditional chocolate figure such as famous chocolate bunnies) were invented in Barcelona. After this brief introduction, I could only add that Barcelona deserves its place among the best confectioners on the world’s chocolate map.
Cayenne pepper … Ginger … Lavender: You would agree this is really a strange combination for chocolate. Actually, these are the angles of the “chocolate love” triangle created by Sarah. She is a prosperous successor of her family which is famous for its chocolate and her name is a synonym of quality chocolate products in Barcelona. This triangle is made by three young people who attend a course – Max (a young American guy and Sarah’s future husband), Oriol (a Spaniard who has very innovative methods and ideas for preparing chocolate) and Sarah herself.
As a matter of fact, it has three different tastes which are combined in Oriol’s famous chocolate masterpiece which gains fame for him worldwide. His box consists of three egg-sized chocolates of white cocoa and he dedicates it to their friendship. The first chocolate has cayenne pepper added because of Max’s preferences for hot tastes. The second one has a predominant lavender taste and it’s dedicated to Sarah. As to the third one, the ginger chocolate is for Oriol who always shows his weakness when it comes to oriental cuisine.
Cocoa … Sugar … Cinnamon: Aurora is a daughter of a servant in an aristocratic family in the 19th century. Unfortunately, chocolate is forbidden for her in the beginning. Fortunately, life teaches her to appreciate things of life like love, opera and the cups of hot chocolate in the afternoon.
Pepper … Carnation … Chiocory: Mariana is a producer of chocolate. She is the wife of an 18th century confectioner from Barcelona. They invent a striking apparatus for preparing chocolate which is longed for by all royal families in Europe.