I took a bag of chocolate morsels which I bought today with the intention of some possible holiday cookie baking. I opened the bag, tipped a handful into my hand and poured the rest into a mason jar for easy storage. (Easy to get when wanted, yet easy to keep fresh!)
Then I remembered that we still had a half a loaf of what we refer to in our house as "good bread". "Good bread" means that European style (French, Italian, no matter, as long as it ain't -no offense to Wonder, but- "Wonder bread" or "air bread") . . . I'm talking about that long loaf, skinny or fat, but it gets baked fresh at the store where it is bought, has minimal -if any- preservatives and chemicals added, and tastes like Spain. (Or, if you're of italian blood, tastes like Italy. or if you're of French descent, tastes like Paris.... you get my drift?) It has a nice crust, a chewy texture and wonderful fresh taste.
So I sliced a piece off of the bread, tore a chunk off and stuffed it into my mouth along with a handful of those chocolate morsels and oh, man! Instant merienda!
Although the quality of ingredients is certainly different, that same taste is there! When I was six years old, my Spanish mom and my South Philly dad took me and all my siblings over to Spain for a summer. Being six at the time, I don't remember too much, but I DO remember the taste of "merienda!"
It wasn't until many years later that I learned the term "merienda" referred to the meal. It meant a midday meal, kinda like the American "lunch".
But to me, back when I was six, in Madrid, they gave us chunks of really good chocolate and pieces of really good bread. We ate them together and it was - oh, heaven!. There is nothing like it in the whole world, the taste of chocolate and bread together. (If someone could package that taste they just might have another Reese's legacy on their hands!)
. . . Hola, Nani! Que tal?!