After one evening at the Festa Major de Vilafranca, we stopped at a little place that sells orxata (horchata in Spanish, that milky drink squeezed from xufes (chufas in Spanish), also known as tigernuts) and gelats (ice cream). We sat down at a table outside (these tables pop up everywhere in the summertime – such a nice change from my greyer winter visits!) and took a peek at the menu lying on it. A short list of ice cream flavours stared up at me. Somewhere in the middle of the list was llet merengada, something I’d never come across before.
Blai highly recommended it and we ended up splitting an orxata and a medium sized cup of llet merengada ice cream. The Catalan term translates to “milk meringue” and it’s originally a cold drink of milk, egg whites, sugar and cinnamon.
The ice cream came with a little shaker of cinnamon to put on top. What a light and refreshing treat! I liked it immensely – imagine a milky flavour with cinnamon and a little something else that I couldn’t put my finger on (it’s probably the egg white?). It’s also not too sweet. Shake that cinnamon on top and gobble it up.
My last day in Catalunya was spent in Barcelona and we ventured to our favourite place for xocolata on c/Petritxol in the Barri Gòtic. A paper sign taped to their door told of the availability of llet merengada; this time, it was for the drink. I couldn’t pass up this chance to try it – I’m not usually in Barcelona in the summer and the cold drink is nowhere to be found in the winter. We placed an order for it. What arrived was this tall glass of milky slushiness with ground cinnamon sprinkled on top.
It was refreshing and cinnamony – the cinnamon is all throughout the icy drink. The ice cream really does taste like the drink and you know what, I like them both! Give this flavour a shot if you get the chance – ice cream or drink.
If you’re nowhere near Spain, there’s a recipe here under the Spanish name of leche merengada. It’s for the ice cream but it can be a little less frozen to make the slushy drink.