Jul 2010

Cacao Sampaka – Madrid

Cacao Sampaka - Madrid

The Astronomer and I arrived at Cacao Sampaka planning to grab something quick and sweet for the merienda and then continue on with the rest of our day. Instead, we stayed for two hours luxuriating over divine chocolates and shopping for edible presents for our friends and families back home. We couldn’t pull ourselves away from this extraordinarily special shop.

Cacao Sampaka - Madrid

Owned by Albert Adrià, former El Bulli pastry chef and brother of Ferran, Cacao Sampaka offers a full-on haute chocolate experience. One part cafe and another market, the store is a delight for the senses. I loved how unusual flavors like anchovy and hazelnut, black olive, and Modena vinegar shared shelf space with more traditional milk and dark chocolates. I also loved how white chocolate, which is oftentimes disregarded by cacao connoisseurs, was given the gourmet treatment.

Cacao Sampaka - Madrid

Since it’s not wise to shop on an empty stomach, The Astronomer and I grabbed a table at the cafe. We began with two chocolates each—I chose the Parmasean cheese and black forest truffle varieties, while he went with thyme and cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Each piece of chocolate was boldly and distinctly flavored; there was no question that the quality was impeccable and the ingredients were top-notch.

My black forest truffle, which came from the “Gastronomic Innovations” collection, worked surprisingly well. The deep, earthy flavor of the truffle melded ideally with the dark chocolate. However, the same could not be said about the Parmesan cheese creation. It was weird, and not in a good way. The Astronomer didn’t endure any flops; both chocolates were exactly to his liking.

Cacao Sampaka - Madrid

Next, we shared a thick mug of hot chocolate made with 58% cacao. Unfortunately, churros were only available during the morning hours, so we drank this one straight up.

Cacao Sampaka - Madrid

We walked out of the store with a huge shopping bag filled with gifts for loved ones. For my friend Luscious, the “Single Bean Origins” collection—her palate is exquisite and I knew she would appreciate the subtle differences between each monovarietal truffled chocolate. For my brother and his fiancée, the “Gastronomic Innovations” collection—they appreciate wild flavor combinations as much as I do. For The Astronomer’s parents, the “Herbs and Flowers” collection—perfect for gardeners who like to drink tea. And for me, two white chocolate tablets in mint and cinnamon. Please don’t judge me.

Cacao Sampaka
Calle de Orellana, 4
28004 Madrid, España
Phone: 913 195 840

Locations throughout Spain (Barcelona, Bilbao, Madrid, Málaga, Valencia) and abroad (Al-Khobar,  Dubai, Lisbon,  Oeiras, Tokyo).

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9 thoughts on “Cacao Sampaka – Madrid

  1. Uh, loved this place myself! The ‘single origins’ box you mention is my fave, as well as the ‘alcoholic box’ – chocolates each filled with a tiny shot of various liquors. Yum! The chocolate ice cream is also to die foe!

  2. Parmesean cheese chocolate? Yikes, I can imagine why that tasted funky, but bravo for you for giving it a whirl. While you’re at it pour me a cup of that 58% chocolate!

  3. I must look into this gourmet white chocolate now; I’m usually one for the choco-chocolate. It’s so fun to see and taste these unusually but simply delicious new flavors chocolate has to offer.

  4. i’m not a huge chocolate fan but this experience sounds exciting so many chocoaltes to choose from! i would have gone for the white chocolate too 😉 i don’t care what anyone say that is my kind of chocolate (even if it isn’t really chocolate)!

  5. Stumbled randomly into this shop last week in Madrid and was extremely impressed with the quality and distinctiveness of the chocolate. Not aware that Spain is known for chocolate, but compared to the quality of what I got in Brussels at world famous purveyors last month, this shop is head and shoulders above. Definitely worth a visit if in Madrid.

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