We first tried horchata and ate a farton at Horchata de Santa Catalina in Valencia. For those of you who live in or have had the fortune to visit Valencia in Spain, you will be very familiar with this wonderful drink, horchata.
King James 1 loved horchata, claiming “this is gold baby” giving horchata its name.
Horchata is made of chufa or tiger nuts, sugar and water this is the thing to drink on a hot day or at one of the innumerable meal breaks, that Valencians have. You need to eat a sweet farton with it. A farton is a light pastry, and a Valencian word meaning that you eat a lot. You can find horchata all over the city though Horchata de Santa Catalina is an excellent place to try this delicious drink.
About Chufa and its history
The tiger bean or Chufa has its origin in ancient Egypt. Chufa is one of the earliest domesticated crops and was found in vases, or the canopic jars, and used in the embalming methods in the tombs of the Egyptian pharaohs. The Chufa nut was widely used in Egypt and Sudan. The Arabs brought the plant to Spain during the time of the Moorish kings The eastern Spanish province of Valencia was the best environment for growing Chufa, and consequently is a favoured drink of the Valencians.
Chufa or tiger nut is very good for you with high levels of iron and potassium. It does not contain sodium, is very low in fat content, and is valued for its minerals and vitamins. I don’t know about the sugar component but one may well balance out the other.
So when in Valencia, Spain visit Horchata de Santa Catalina and order a horchata and a farton and you will know that it is indeed, gold baby.