Nostalgic foodie souvenirs from Spain

We’ve just got back from two weeks on the Costa del Sol, and, as ever, a highlight of the trip was my usual trip to the supermercado to see what interesting or quirky things I could bring home.

I don’t mean serious stuff like the finest serrano ham; I’m talking more about silly nostalgic treats, and anything else interesting.

i was most keen to source the two items which remind me of the couple of trips I made to Spain as a child. I can vividly recall swimming up to a barstool with my dad for a treat of chocolate milk and a doughnut and I can also clearly picture the packaging of both items as they were handed over.

The milk I remember so fondly is Cacaolat, not the seemingly more popular Spanish brand Cola Cao and I was delighted to get my hands on it, and on a multipack of the doughnuts, in a larger store. To my eternal delight, neither the appearance of the milk nor the doughnuts has changed much in the 30 or so years since I devoured them as a child – and that taste, oh that taste, was just the same.

The divine Cacaolat

The divine Cacaolat

I couldn’t resist eating and drinking them throughout the holiday – and bringing a few back packages and cartons back to help with the post-holiday blues, too.


Among the other treats in my shopping basket were wonderful Inez Rosales tortas, chorizo and two little 47c mineral water bottles with cutesy Anna and Elsa wrappers for our daughter.

And then I came upon the trump card of the trip, a trio of perfection in the form of three Royal reposteria tins: cacao en polvo (cocoa powder), crema pastelera (custard powder) and azucar glas avanillado (vanilla icing). My mother laughed at how excited i was when I spotted them in the baking section, but all I think of was my little red Royal baking powder tin at home and how delighted it would be to be joined by such beautiful little tins.

DSC00515I’ll have to get someone to translate the back of the tins for me so I can fully appreciate them, but I know that, once their contents are gone, I will be able to refill them and reuse them for years to come.

A trip down a (very basic but very blissful) foodie memory lane in Spain

I went to Palma Nova in Spain with my parents when I was four and I have never forgotten the joy of what I consumed there. Nope, nothing healthy from that sunny place, but the stodgiest treats I could get my little hands on – donuts and chocolate milk. Specific brands, mind you.

As you can imagine, I was over the moon last week to be back in the country and I couldn’t resist snapping up some of both. And, surprisingly, they weren’t a disappointment at all. The donuts, still in their distinctive yellow packaging, were just that degree of moist that I remembered, the glaze more evident on their bottom halves.

The colacao milk was divine, different than brands here for a reason I am finding it hard to put a finger on. I sank one bottle practically in a single mouthful, closed my eyes and sank back into a bus seat beside my mum. For one moment, I was right back on a stool at the bar of the hotel aged just a few years, revelling in a special treat.