When we talked about Christmas celebrations I told you about people, like myself, who let sweet traditions aside as they prefer some peculiar sweet thing that is his or her lifetime sweet love affair.
Sometimes is mommy’s or auntie’s or granny’s sweet thing, and sometimes some particular local sweet speciality that has been present at every special moment from childhood on.
Valencian people have many of these places at heart, as the four ones I’m introducing to you next. As in the case of traditional bars, they add up to three hundred years old surviving at the heart of town seducing costumers with supreme prime ingredients and tradition at its very best.
Even if La Rosa de Jericó dates from 1890, opened at Valencia city in 1923: always at the core of town and always under the meticulous handcrafted guidance of the Jericó dinasty, now in its fourth generation with Carlos ahead.
Jericó is not just the oldest but perhaps the most prestigious and beloved in town. Prestige comes from any of their versatile specialities –as meringues, English cakes or chocolat coated oranges– any of their special recreations or their astonishingly decorated shop windows, as top image here. Love comes from its unique place in Valencian life even literature –think Tranvía a la Malvarrosa. By the way, Jericó embodies a small coffee shop in which you may enjoy any of their specialities.
Chocolates Hilario Martínez opened in 1931 right at the core of town offering all kinds of chocolats until coining what soon became one of the sweet emblemas of town: their unique chocolat truffles: incredibly light and tasty and lovely coated with top chocolat shavings, they are an integral part in the life of many Valencian couples indeed!
Besides their well-known truffles and their famous cubanitos Martínez holds a rather unknow cave of true chocolat treasures: astonishingly handcrafted and handpainted pieces of art that will be an instant must for any chocolat lover –just see our featured picture with Silk Market handpainted with and in the best chocolat!
Pastelería Villanueva opened in 1947, following the top quality of early-century La Universal. Now in its second generation with Valentín Villanueva ahead, is a visual and gastronomical reference point for Valencian people who can’t fail to walk by its strategycally placed and carefully preserved lovely façade, below, more than once a week.
Villanueva offers the full range of a top pastry shop and even if specializes in Capuccino, Cardenal and English cakes, is especially involved in recovering forgotten Valencian specialities.
Last but not least comes Notre Dame, opened in 1969 at L’Eixample Quarter, a.k.a. as La Francesa as it was the very first confectionary shop in town in offering French specialities, mostly pastries as their top croissants and chocolats as their exquisite pralinés.
Notre Dame is the only one of all four that has been fully renewed as a modern confectionary and coffee shop including a wide open air terrace; even if renewal has erased some of its charming traces it has widened its functionality and possibilities so that you may have in there one of the most exquisite and comfortable breakfasts or afternoon teas in town.