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I Wonder Why...?

I will be writing about aspects of Spanish history and their traditions. I am a very curious person and have always needed to know "why" they do it, and "how" it came about. So over the years while living in Spain I have made a conscious effort to discover "el porque de las cosas" and I will be sharing them with you. I hope you find it as fascinating as I do.

Look what's hiding under The Rock...
27 November 2019


Gibraltar’s historical role as a fortress guarding the maritime passage east-west through the Strait connecting the Mediterranean Sea with the Atlantic Ocean and narrowly separating the European and African Continents is well known. Its limited land area and its role as a fortress have combined to make the demand for underground facilities a pressing local problem of applied geology, and stimulated almost uniquely imaginative solutions to maximise protection and survival of both civilian and military personnel.  Around half a kilometer under the Rock of Gibraltar lies a system of tunnels from where the Allies planned the North African landings during World War II.

 

The tunnels of Gibraltar, constructed over the course of nearly 200 years principally by the British Army, have made the Rock of Gibraltar "a veritable warren of tunnels that housed guns, hangars, ammunition stores, barracks and hospitals". Within a land area of only 2.6 square miles (6.7 km2), Gibraltar has around 34 miles (55 km) of tunnels, nearly twice the length of its entire road network. The first tunnels, excavated in the late 18th century, served as communication passages between artillery positions and housed guns within embrasures cut into the North Face of the Rock. More tunnels were constructed in the 19th century to allow easier access to remote areas of Gibraltar and accommodate stores and reservoirs to deliver the water supply of Gibraltar.

Now, this underground network has also been transformed into a digital data center where information about online gamblers and investors from all over the world is stored, zealously protected from cyber attacks by spectacular security measures. Here customer data from clients as far-flung as Bermuda, Bilbao and Hamburg is kept in colossal servers, hidden away from prying eyes. The tunnel system was the property of the British Ministry of Defence until 2008 when it was handed over to the Gibraltar government, which has since rented it out to a private company specializing in data management.

The past now lives alongside cutting-edge technology, which is being used to garner profits from the booming online gambling industry based in Gibraltar. Financial services companies and e-commerce firms also store data here. Security is watertight: the area is monitored by CCTV and anybody entering the area must have special passcodes and keys.



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The 'Very Spanish' Bota - drinking wine on the go...
04 November 2019

The ‘Bota’ or wineskin is a leather bag used to contain any kind of liquid, but it is typically used to preserve and transport wine. Spain is the country with the greatest 'Botera' tradition in the world. On any traditional festivity this instrument emerges as one of the stars being passed between friends. The ‘bota’ has been very important in Spanish history, being one of the containers used most by the Spanish people. 

The original history of the ‘bota’ was really lost in ancient times but it was the Spanish that kept it alive. Written evidence of its existence has been found as far back as ancient Greece (Homer in the Odyssey when Ulysses the hero gets Cyclops Polyphemus drunk by giving him wine in skins), in the Bible (Noah’s children got him drunk too using similar artefacts), in the immortal Cervantes' Don Quixote (when the old gentleman takes swipes and lunges at the landlord) and throughout the Golden Age of Spanish literature the references multiply. 

Lightweight, flexible, durable, environmentally friendly, easy to carry, waterproof, practical, hygienic, attractive, simple but perfect in design, the wineskin is a legacy of our past and a product that charms those who know how to enjoy the basic pleasures of life. 

Traditional models are shaped as a water drop and usually have a curved face to facilitate the movement of liquid from the container to the user's mouth. 

There are two types of wineskin that vary because of their interior. Firstly there is the interior known as ‘pez’ (derived from pine or juniper resin and it is used for waterproofing the inside of the wineskin) and then there is the interior with latex. Latex wineskins instead of having resin waterproofing have a wineskin shaped latex bag inside the skin, which actually contains the liquid.

The “pez” interior wineskin is the original ‘Bota’, the one that has been used for generations. If you want to use it mainly for wine you are recommended to choose the traditional format. If you want to use it for water or carbonated sweet drinks, your choice should be latex. 

The companies ‘Boteria Jesus Blasco’, ‘Las Tres ZZZ’  and ‘Boteria Domingo los tres D.D.D’ are the main producers of traditional Spanish wineskins. All with a history dating back to the late 19th century. 

The wineskin is an iconic Spanish product and any occasion is a good excuse to enjoy it, whether walking or just getting together with some friends. It is a tradition that will not be lost despite the new drink containers that large companies are constantly putting on sale.

This handmade tradition will continue because of its uniqueness and heritage. The skin used for the traditional ‘bota’ is goat’s skin from local Spanish herds and it is a leather specialist who carefully selects each goat. 

Once dried, the skin is treated with vegetable tannins or extracts obtained from grounded tree bark (mimosa, pine and oak). Once ready and with the help of a guide, the skin is cut. 

Once cut, the skin is folded in the middle, matching the edges and creating the shape of the water drop. During the production process the wineskin is worked inversely to its natural form and then coated with a waterproofing layer of resin. 

Sewing the wineskin properly is the secret to its durability. The outer stitching, now done with a sewing machine over the past decades, is sewn in a criss-cross manner allowing it to be totally sealed and hermetic. This also makes the stitching incredible strong.

Once sewn, it needs to be turned ‘outside in’ so the stitching is on the inside. This process requires a highly experienced craftsman with a special rod. First he blows hard to inflate it and with a flick of the wrist turns it on the rod. 

At this point, the wineskin is ready for the waterproofing resin inside. The ’pez’, which after being cooked, is now in a liquid state and it is poured into the ‘bota’ to permeate throughout the interior. Once the ‘pez’ has cooled, the ‘bota’ is waterproofed. 

In latex wineskins, this process is completely replaced by introducing a latex bladder which performs the same function of waterproofing and containing the liquid. Finally, the spout or nozzle is placed on the top and attached to the skin. 

Once checked over, the last step is to add a cord for carrying the wineskin, which is sown in place. Once added, it would now be ready for use. 

Wineskins are said to be very much like good wine; they get better with age if maintained correctly, those that use them frequently claim it even contributes positively to the flavour of the wine over time. However, this will be very much a question of personal preference, so I encourage you to give it a go.

 



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The Mystery of Elche
10 October 2019

'The Mystery of Elche' is a cultural treasure of the people of Elche and one of the most outstanding jewels of the Valencian cultural heritage, as its pronouncement as National Monument in 1931, and its inclusion, in 2001, in the first Proclamation of Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO, show.

It is a lyric drama of medieval origins, that has been staged since the 13th century, one of the customary representations of the Assumption in Mediterranean Europe. The play is based on several texts from the Apocryphal Gospels, quite popular during the Middle Ages. The text is written in the Valencian language, apart from a psalm and a few verses in Latin, and it has a total of 259 verses. The musical part offers the most noteworthy characteristics. The melodies come from different periods being added to by different composers.

This extraordinary religious drama, the only living example of primitive lyric theatre, is also the only one in the world to be staged inside a church – the Santa María Basilica – thanks to a special dispensation granted by Pope Urban VIII. It is divided into two acts. The first is the dormition of the Virgin Mary, in the presence of the apostles and angels. The second is Our Lady’s Assumption into heaven. The Mystery of Elche is a beautiful show, with exquisite Medieval music. The play consists of the angel descending on the 'Mangrama', with a beautifully decorated white palm in his hands, which he presents to the Virgin Mary. She then presents it to the Apostle John. The palm is kissed by Mary before being handed over to the apostle, thus anointing it with the finest of blessings. This grace transcends to the town when the branches of the palm are handed out following the play. Then, the 'Misteri' is taken to the streets in a procession of the 'burial' of Mary with songs from the 'Festa' and the participation of actors.

The first and second act is represented on 14 and 15 August respectively every year, and entrance is free. There are dress rehearsals 11, 12 and 13 August which can be attended purchasing a ticket. In even-numbered years, there are special performances in October and November as well. In this case, the two acts are performed on 1 November (first act in the morning and second in the afternoon) and the dress rehearsals are 29 and 30 October. As in the summer, the 1 November performance is free, while tickets must be purchased for the dress rehearsals. Tickets go on sale from the end of July. 

For more information - https://www.misteridelx.com/misteri/

 

 



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Almost time to put them away...
23 August 2019

You may swear by them or recently discovered them this Summer, but shortly it will be time to put them away for next year. I have a couple of pairs, and I just love them. They are so simple yet so versatile in style. The espadrille has been around for centuries maybe even thousands of years. The Archaeological museum of Granada owns a pair of espadrilles that were found on human remains inside the “cueva de los murcielagos” (the bat-cave). It is estimated that these shoes are around 4000 years old. Clearly, they are a very primitive version of today’s 'alpargatas'.

 

 

This light sandal, as we know it today, made with jute rope or braided hemp and with linen fabric, originates from Spain, where, already, they were being worn around the XIII century by the King of Aragons’ infantry men. Its name is derived from “esparto” which is a kind of plant that was originally burned then braided to make the soles. The town of Cervera del Rio Alhama in La Rioja is considered the birthplace of Espadrille manufacturing.

It was during the XIII century that the production of these shoes truly spread. Since it is a handcrafted shoe, making the treads employs many workers. The alpargatero’s (or espadrille maker) only job was to make the rope soles, while the seamstresses sewed the fabric and the band. At the beginning of the XIX century, Mauléon (a French city located in the Atlantic Pyrenees) began selling them in vast quantities. The first people to wear them were the catalano-aragonese military soldiers then subsequently by the priests. Around 1880, most espadrilles were sold to mine workers, but they were also exported to South America. It was the time of the “hirondelles”, which were young girls from the aragonese valleys who came to work in the espadrille factories between the fall and winter seasons.

 

Around 1950, fashion evolved and this forced alpargata makers to reinvent the shoe with a more sophisticated design that was better suited to the times. This contributed, during the 1960s, to a special order of shoes for the Parisian festivities by the most celebrated designer of the time, Mr. Yves St-Laurent. He asked for an espadrille with a heel, which had never been done before. Suddenly, it was all the rage! Today, almost all the women who live in the southern regions have a pair of alpargatas with heels and ribbons that tie around the ankle.

Today, espadrilles are still extremely popular both in France and in Spain, especially in the summer. People seemed to like it because of the sole, which is 100% natural, molds itself to the shape of the foot, and allows the skin to breathe. The simplicity of this shoe makes it very versatile and therefore easy to match with all sorts of different styles. If the espadrille has already been around for 4000 years then it’s not about to go out of fashion now!!

 



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The Shearing of the Beasts
31 July 2019

Earlier this month, the young “aloitadores” of Sabucedo, Pontevedra, gathered the wild horses, placed them in a “curro”, shaved them and branded them...

La Rapa das Bestas (The Shearing of the Beasts) is a popular festival which has been in existence since the 18th century. It consists of gathering the wild horses in the mountains, placing them in a “curro” (corral or enclosure), shaving them and branding them. All of this is held in Sabucedo (Pontevedra, Galicia) on the first Saturday, Sunday and Monday of July.

The “curro” in Sabucedo is the most famous of its kind, and its unique feature is that no ropes, sticks or other devices are used to tame the animals. The “aloitadores”, the ones charged with holding the beasts while they are being shaved, may only use their skill and body to perform the job.

Another specific feature of La Rapa das Bestas in Sabucedo is that the “bajada”, or the leading of the horses to the place in Sabucedo, is an integral part of the celebration itself, and hundreds of people from Galicia and beyond participate in it. In 2007, La Rapa das Bestas was declared a Festival of International Tourist Interest.
On Saturday morning (the first day), very early and before climbing the mountain, a stirring mass is held where they address prayers to Saint Lawrence, the patron saint of Sabucedo, to ensure that no accidents or other unfortunate events happen during the festival.

 



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Look Closely!
26 June 2019

At a small museum in the small village of Ordino in Spain's neighbouring country of Andorra, you’ll find some of the smallest works of art in existence. Visitors must look through microscopes that magnify the artwork 300 times in order to see these tiny masterpieces that are otherwise nearly invisible to the naked eye.

 


The Miniature Museum features the works of Ukrainian microminiaturist Nikolai Syadristy, an artist who is renowned for being the best in the world at miniature art. In fact, the word “microminiature” was invented because of the pieces of art he created. From signatures on the tip of a human hair to a bottle on a single grain of sand, to a caravan of camels inside the eye of a needle, you’ll find 13 very impressive Syadristy works at this museum.

 

 

 


Unrelated to the miniature art, the museum has also thrown in an impressive collection of crucifixes from throughout the centuries and heaps of handmade Russian nesting dolls along with a few other miscellaneous artifacts. Although Syadristy’s works have significant monetary value, he does not sell them as he wants them to remain on public display.

 



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A Brief History of Spanish Serrano Ham
28 May 2019

Generally speaking, the term jamón serrano refers to a leg of pork that has been preserved in the traditional way – first salted and then cured by exposure to mountain breezes for a period of between six and 36 months.

In common usage, in order to differentiate between hind-quarters (on which there is more, and better, lean meat) and fore-quarters, the word ‘jamón’ is used for the former and ‘paleta’ or ‘paletilla’ for the latter. On the evidence of the Real Academia Española database, it can be inferred that, although the word ‘jamón’ appears in Spanish texts from the late 16th century on, this Frenchified neologism (derived from the French ‘Jambon’) did not pass into general currency until the closing decades of the 19th century. However, it was then adopted so enthusiastically that it completely supplanted the traditional term ‘pernil’ (which appears in the occasional text from 1490 and is derived directly from the Latin ‘perna’, meaning : leg).

As for different categories of jamón, historical references do not differentiate between one breed of pig and another, but rather identify perniles by their place of provenance. This is because, until the 19th century, Spanish pigs were almost exclusively of the breeds known as ‘Ibérico’, and were raised on the extensive principle, feeding largely on acorns in the natural environment of the dehesa (wooded scrubland). In the last few decades, the term ‘Ibérico’ has come to denote products of a quality superior to those derived from other, intensively farmed, breeds. In the mid-20th century, foreign cross-breeds invaded the Spanish market, overtaking the native breeds and relegating them to a few pockets of traditional resistance.

The prehistory and history of serrano ham in Spain is, therefore, primarily the history of Ibérico ham, which I will go into more detail about in another post.

Nowadays, technically and legally speaking, the term ‘jamón serrano’ refers to a Guaranteed Traditional Specialty (GTS), a specific designation protected by EU Regulation 2082/92 in which a set of characteristics is defined, including both traditional and modern production techniques, and always with reference to non-Ibérico, white pig breeds. That said, some Protected Designations of Origin are recognized as guarantees of fine quality: Jamón de Teruel (from the Autonomous Community of Aragón) and Jamón de Trevélez (from the heart of the Granada’s Alpujarras, in Andalusia) are examples of quality products with a long tradition behind them, and that stand out from ‘jamones serranos’ in general.

Although American-bred pigs were imported into Spain and other parts of Europe from the 16th century on, all were descendants of the Ibérico. The first Asian pigs (which fattened more readily), and other European varieties (Belgian White, Duroc-Jersey, Landrace, Large White, Pietrain…) for cross-breeding with Ibérico pigs, started arriving in the mid-18th century and throughout the 19th. Indeed, livestock farming made a gradual recovery between 1917 and 1936, with the selection of breeds, both Spanish and foreign, increasing and herds becoming larger.

After the Spanish Civil War (1936–1939), the process went into reverse: between 1942 and 1950, the nation’s pig herd diminished by 20%. Improved economic conditions from the late 1950s on were reflected in an increasing demand for meat, especially pork, which was cheaper. Bigger demand resulted in extensive farming systems being thrust aside while fattening stations multiplied, so that from 1959 to 1985 the situation known as the ‘traditional livestock crisis’ occurred, and within that the ‘Ibérico pig crisis’. Pork consumption increased spectacularly, as did the intensive production and industrialization required to achieve it, to such an extent that traditionally produced Ibérico ham accounted for a mere 5% of the total by 1985.


Significantly, in 1955, pregnant sows of foreign breeds Landrace and Large White represented only 1% of the total, while in 1974 they represented 81%, and in 1986 90%. Between 1986 and 2006, Spain’s total pork production increased by 44%, making it the second biggest pork producer in the EU (15%), after Germany (22%).



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Coffee in Spain - How do you like yours?
16 May 2019

One of Spain’s greatest pleasures is sitting outside and enjoying a relaxing cup of coffee. Coffee plays an important role in many countries and Spain is not different with a very strong coffee culture. The weather all year round makes for an enjoyable coffee sitting out under a clear blue sky soaking up the sun even on a chilly winter day. However, customs as always have been engrained on how and when coffee is enjoyed. For example, it is unthinkable for a Spaniard to order a café con leche after a meal, that is reserved for breakfast or maybe the "merienda" – the afternoon snack. After a meal, it would be a ‘Cortado’ or a ‘Bombón’ or a ‘café solo’ or a "Cortado tocado de Baileys" or a Carajillo if you prefer something a little stronger.

As you can see the options are endless and whichever region you go to they will have a name for a certain type of coffee. For those coming to Spain for the first time, this can get a little confusing as the options are endless. It all comes down to offering the customer the opportunity to enjoy a coffee as they like it, allowing them to personalise their coffee as they wish. This can get extremely confusing for a waiter who is not experienced, as a simple table of 4 can become a real tongue twister when repeating the order. In the summer it is common to hear: 

I want a ‘Cortado del tiempo, Descafeinado de máquina, corto de café y tocado de Bailey’s con la leche muy caliente en vaso de cristal’ 

And that’s just one order, multiply it by 4 and ask the guy to repeat the order without taking note and it requires a little practice, especially if everyone has their own way of ordering coffee. But that’s the beauty of Spain, don’t be afraid to ask for it the way you want it. In some places like Málaga they have established a system of 9 variations for the combination of coffee and milk, originally designed to avoid wasting coffee in times of need when coffee was very expensive such as after the civil war; some like it stronger and some prefer it weaker, but who would have thought that you would need to establish nine variations to content the customers, have in mind that we are talking about a small glass here of about 120ml so there isn’t much room for error. Throughout my time in Spain I have come across many different ways of having a coffee and I thought I would pull together all the ones I can remember, I am sure there are many missing from the list but maybe you can help to add to the list by kindly leaving a comment at the end of the post. So here goes, the first list are established names, some particular to a region and the second list are the different ways to personalise how you coffee is served :

    
1.    Café Solo: Same as an espresso
2.    Café Americano:  Half a glass of coffee and then topped up with hot water
3.    Café con Leche:  Standard white coffee normally 50/50 coffee and milk. Normally for breakfast/mornings. Served in a cup.
4.    Café con leche corto de café: White coffee with slightly less coffee in it 30/70   coffee and milk. 
5.    Café Cortado: Coffee with milk served in a small glass, normally for after meals. 50/50 Coffee and milk

In Málaga and areas in the region, these are the 9 variations established originally by the bar Café Central -

 

 

6.    Café Bombón/Biberó/Goloso: Served in a small glass. Condensed milk is poured into the bottom of the glass and the coffee is added on top. Same glass as a Cortado. You mix it with the spoon.

7.    Carajillo / Café Brulé: Coffee with a dash of Brandy – the proper version of this involves heating up the brandy with a lemon zest and 4 coffee beans, it is then passed through a small sieve and added to the black coffee.

8.    Asiático: Typical in Cartagena and other areas of Murcia. It is a black coffee with Condensed milk, Brandy, Licor 43 and cinnamon.
9.    Belmonte/ Trifásico: Black coffee with condensed milk and Brandy
10.  Barraquito: Popular in the Canary Islands. It has Coffee, milk, and condensed milk. It can also include, cinnamon, lemon and liquors.
11.    Manchado: in Murcia this is a Bombón with less coffee.
12.    Suau: A Catalan summer drink – Coffee, Soda, sugar, cinnamon and vanilla. Served with ice.
13.    Café Granizado – Iced coffee with crushed ice in a slush drunk with a straw

 

 

Personalising your coffee:

Del tiempo ó con hielo: served with a glass of ice to pour the coffee into and drink it cold.
Descafeinado de máquina: Coffee machine decaffeinated 
Descafeinado de sobre: Nescafé in a sachet.
Tocado de ………… – add any liquor/spirit such as Bailey’s or whisky
Temperatura del leche – leche caliente / leche natural
Corto de Café – Just over a half measure of coffee.
En vaso (de cristal) – served in a glass
En taza -  served in a cup


So you can see how easy it is to order a : 

‘Cortado del tiempo, Descafeinado de máquina, corto de café y tocado de Bailey’s con la leche muy caliente, en vaso de cristal, por favor’ !

How do you like yours?

 

 



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What's the story behind the 'Capirote' - Spain's conical hat at Easter?
18 April 2019

 

A capirote is a pointed conical hat that is used in Spain. It is part of the uniform of some brotherhoods including the Nazarenos and Fariseos during Easter processions and reenactments in some areas during the Holy Week in Spain. 

Historically the flaggelants are the origin of these current traditions, as they flogged themselves to do penance. Pope Clemens VI ordered that flagellants only under control of the church could perform penance; For this he decreed "Inter sollicitudines". This is considered one of the reasons why flaggelants  often hide their faces.

The use of the capirote or coroza was proscribed in Spain and Portugal by the Holy Office of the Inquisition. Men and women who were arrested had to wear a paper capirote in public as sign of public humiliation. The capirote was worn during the session of an 'Auto-da-fé'. The colour was different, conforming to the judgement of the office. People who were condemned to be executed wore a red coroza. Other punishments used different colours and drawings to show the punishment to be received.

 

When the Inquisition was abolished, the symbol of punishment and penitence was kept in the Catholic brotherhood. However, the capirote used today is different: it is covered in fine fabric, as determined by the brotherhood. Later, during the celebration of the Holy Week/Easter in Andalusia, penitentes (people doing public penance for their sins) would walk through streets with the capirote. The capirote is today the symbol of the Catholic penant: only members of a confraternity of penance are allowed to wear them during solemn processions. Children can receive the capirote after their first holy communion, when they enter the brotherhood.

Historically the structure is called the capirote, but the brotherhoods cover it with fabric together with their face, and the medal of the brotherhood that is worn underneath. The cloth has two holes for the penant to see through. The insignia or crest of the brotherhood is usually embroidered on the capirote in fine gold.The capirote is worn during the whole penance. In Sevilla, it is not allowed to enter the cathedral without the capirote.


In New Orleans during the period between the Rebellion of 1768 and the abolishment of the Spanish cabildo, the more risqué Mardi Gras celebrations of the traditionally French Catholic residents were strictly curtailed by incoming Spanish clergy. The anti-Catholic 'second' Ku Klux Klan that arose at the beginning of the twentieth century may have modeled part of their regalia and insignia on the capirote and sanbenito as a sardonic nod to the enforcement of these restrictions on masquerades a century earlier.

 



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The Worlds Most Iconic Sweet
15 March 2019

Up until the late 1950s, sweets were different shapes and colours. But children, being children, would pop them in and out of their mouths regularly to examine them, to talk to friends, to hide them from parents or to put them in their pockets for later. This meant that kids and sweets were a messy mix.

 In 1958 Enric Bernat created a universally appealing sweet that would make kids and parents happy.

In the early 1950s, Bernat worked for an apple jam factory called "Granja Asturias". After he proposed the idea of making lollipops, the investors left so Bernat took over the company in 1958. He built the production machines and sold a striped bonbon on a wooden stick for one peseta each.

Bernat’s original idea was a piece of candy on a fork. After several experiments with small forks, Bernat saw the opportunity for production on a larger scale. Before the first Chupa Chups lollipop hit the market, however, the fork was substituted with a wooden stick as a safer and less expensive alternative

Bernat got the idea of a "bonbon with a stick" from a cursing mother as her child got sticky hands from melting sweets. Bernat felt that at that time, sweets were not designed with the main consumers — children — in mind. Shopkeepers were instructed to place the lollipops near the cash register within reach of children's hands, instead of the traditional placement behind the counter and Chupa Chups stood out from other sweets with displays that were cute, curious and creative.


At first, he decided to call it “GOL”, imagining the sweet was a bit like a football and an open mouth was a bit like a football net.

But it wasn’t quite catchy enough, so he hired an advertising agency to come up with a creative new name for him, Chups.

Then, consumers stepped in. The catchy jingle used to market Chups proved so successful, that it changed the name of the sweet! 

Get something sweet to lick, lick, lick, like a Chups.

Get something sweet to lick, lick, lick, like a Chups.

It’s so round and it lasts so long.

“Lick, lick lick a Chups”     [“Chupa, chupa, chupa Chups”]

 

 

Sales of Chupa Chups lollipops abroad prompted the need for a modernised wrapper design. For this important task, a visit was paid to Salvador Dalí, who, in less than an hour created the famous daisy logo. He also changed the logo to only two colours and insisted that his logo be positioned on top of the lollipop so that it could be seen perfectly from every angle. This very logo is still pretty much the logo in use today. And these little changes made it iconic.

In 1988 it was revamped a little and that is the design that has stuck till today. Bright, cheerful and unique, it has proven universally popular with the public. It has become the definitive icon for a world famous brand. 

 

 

The Chupa Chups Company was a success. Within five years Bernat's sweets were being sold at 300,000 outlets. After the end of the Francisco Franco dictatorship (1939–75), the self-funded private company went international. In the 1970s the lollipops appeared in Japan and Southeast Asian countries such as Indonesia, Singapore, Philippines and Malaysia, as well as Australia. In the 1980s it expanded to the European and North American markets, and in the 1990s to most Asian countries, including South Korea and China. Nowadays billions of lollipops a year are sold in over 150 countries.



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