How it all started
The Rebellion of the Neveros.
Snow, used to cool drinks and preserve food, was a precious commodity in Valencia in the XVIth century. The “neveros” brought the snow down from the Calderona or Mariola mountains to store it in deep cellars called “neveras”, “casas de neu” or “pous de neu”. The authorities imposed a strong tax increasing the price, which degenerated into the “Rebellion of the Neveros”.
Affected sector was that of the “aguadores” or “watermen” (the first tigernut milk street vendors) who used this snow to refresh water and preserve other drinks. Among them, the “llet de chufes” or “milk of tiger nuts” stood out, which “was made with a cloth after mashing the tiger nuts”* and which, when sweetened, was with added honey, dates or aigua civà (toasted barley water).
*Explained by Gaspar Escolano in his book in 1610 named “History of the distinguished and crowned City and Kingdom of Valencia”.
“The golden age of tigernut milk street carts”
Alicante natives from Crevillent first, from Ibi and Xixona later, and Valencians from Torrent, emigrated to Madrid and Barcelona taking with them the art of “esterería” and their carts of Tigernut Milk.
From the 18th to the 19th century and until the middle of the 20th century, there were in Madrid over 300 tigernut milk street pushcarts and a very well know Association of Street Vendor Tigernut Families.
So popular was the tigernut milk trade that the horchata families flooded the pages of events of the newspapers of that time, and they were toys made with the shape of garrapiñeras (cork, wood and tin vats that cooled the horchata with snow) placed in beautiful wooden carts that were decorated with strings of bells, alerting this way the streets of the arrival of the refreshing elixir of tiger nuts.
Characters like Napoleón Bonaparte, Richard Ford, Gustave Doré, Theóphile Gautier, Vallé Inclán, Miguel de Cervantes, Benito Pérez Galdós, or Emilia Pardo Bazán, among many others, were great lovers of the street tigernut milk (named orchata, orxata or horchata), as well as of the whole tigernuts that were served raw and soaked almost in every corner in all local and major village parties in Spain.
Tigernut milk cart. Virgin Square (València, Spain). Year 1870
The horchaterías are born, street carts begin to die
Despite what Valencian people think and what you will read in the 99,9% of blogs and articles (only one more of the multiple fake news that surround tigernut and that even “serious” newspapers do spread), the first “horchaterias” appeared in Madrid on the 18th century. In fact, nowadays, the oldest horchaterías follow being based in Madrid and Barcelona and not in Valencia. At that time, they were places where the horchata (tiger nut milk) could be drink for the first time sitting down on chairs surrounding a table. In Alboraya, little town next to Valencia and cradle of the tiger nut, the first horchaterías appeared lately in the 60s, 70s and 80s of the XX-th century.
Once they opened they became super trendy and fashionable, and the horchata street carts begin to be perceived as something for “the poor and peasants”.
With the advent of industrialization and once pasteurized horchata entered in cafés and bars at the 80s of the XXth century, the horchata street carts and vendors, a 400-year-old tradition, completely disappeared from the streets of Valencia, Madrid, Barcelona and many other villages were they were so popular.
Founder of Món Orxata backpacks to South America.
After a long stay in the Amazon with indigenous tribes, he settled in Venezuela until 2002.
Inspired by the “chicha” street carts (a very popular Venezuelan rice drink, made from corn in Peru) and being a fan of the tigernut horchata since his grandfather (from the little valencian village of Carcaixent) took him as a child to taste tigernut milk at the Horchateria Rin in València in the 80s, it occurs to him that if he ever returns to Spain, maybe he will set up a horchata street cart in Valencia.
The tradition of the tigernut street carts is recovered.
Nerea Monforte, Antón García Buitrón, Yolanda Morán and Andoni Monforte, we co-found Món Orxata (The World of Orxata).
On May 29th 2003, we launched the first cart at the Björk concert in the City of Arts and Sciences of Valencia. We ended the summer with several carts scattered in private spaces in the city (El Saler shopping mall, Bonaire, etc).
We Recover a 400-year-old tradition extinct just 30 years before.
Curiously, we had not a clue that the tigernut milk street carts were an ancient tradition until many elder people came to the carts to congratulate us for recovering the street sale of horchata.
We expand the street carts in Valencia
More Horchata Tigernut Street Carts. Together with the inventor from Teruel Vicente Romero (RIP) and the craftsman Ernesto Vinaroz, we built 10 more pushcarts recycling scrap that we galvanized and covered with fiberglass.
The Valencia City Council approves the Ordinance that allows the sale of Valencian products with Denomination of Origin and deep roots.
We encourage different farmers to grow organic certified tigernuts for us. Món Orxata advances 20,000 euros to pay them quickly and fairly.
First Worldwide Certified Organic Tiger nut & Fist Award
We receive the “Best Young Company” Award from the Valencian Public Foundation (Bancaixa).
We get the first organic tiger nut harvest (also certified with the Guarantee of Origin of Valencia) just as our grandparents did, applying sustainable cultivation techniques that respect the natural cycles of the earth.
Worldwide pioneer craft factory in Raw & Organic Tigernut Milk
We send tiger nuts to the 3 Michelin star chef Arzac, whose restaurant includes on its menu the first tiger nut dish with 3 Michelin stars: “Shredded veal cooked in tiger nut milk”.
We certify our craft factory with the Official Public Committee for Organic Agriculture to be able to make Raw & Organic Orxata from Valencian Tiger nuts.
Our horchateras (street vendor women) begin to make handicrafts with tiger nuts such as bracelets, earrings, necklaces and, the most devout, even rosaries of tiger nuts, one of them personally given to the pope Ratzinguer (RIP).
We launch the “VitaXufa” organic tiger nut oil.
The Orxata Museum. Small and big events.
We create the “Museum of the Horchata” from the seed-idea to its implementation in the mythical Alquería del Machistre, avoiding prominence in the media and inviting the entire sector to participate.
Once the museum starts up, Món Orxata leaves the management in the hands of the endearing Vargas family, owner of the Alquería del Machistre.
We go with our carts to all kinds of gastronomic, organic and cultural fairs such as those of Xátiva, Almassera,Menorca, Cocentaina, etc,
In 2007 we go one step further: we convince the Swiss Alinghi sailors, organizers of the America’s Cup of sailing to put 2 horchata carts inside the event.
A local product from our ancient garden becomes visible for the first time at a major event (until then exclusively taken over by industrial beverages from foreign multinationals).
More Awards & more Tigernut Derivatives.
Our brand VitaXufa receives the award for the “Best Organic Product” at the Biocultura Barcelona fair. We also received awards such as the“Labor Insertion” from the European Social Cohesion Fund, or “Ideas” from the Polytechnic University of Valencia.
We launch the confectionery made with tiger nut flour (muffins, cookies, etc.)
Together with the Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC) and the young pastry chef Alberto Navas, we developed the Tigernut Nougat (project started in 2007).
On-Line Store “LaHorchateria.com”
We inaugurated what for more than a decade has been the only online store in the sector: www.lahorchateria.com
We opened a Facebook account to inform the “start up” social networks about tiger nuts and horchata and we began collaboration with the mythical “Horchata & Twitts”
The Ministry of Agriculture and the Environment awards us the award “Food from Spain” for “innovating in a traditional product such as horchata while creating employment”.
“Orxata Coffee Shop” & Tigernut Cosmetics.
We launch thel “Orxata Coffee Shop” at the Joaquín Sorolla AVE station in Valencia, an organic horchatería.
We create a cosmetic line made from tigernut oil made up of soaps, body oils, massage oils, etc.
Award for ““Commercial Innovation”” from the Valencia City Council.
Celebrities & Presentation of Tigernut Derivatives
The list of illustrious people who drink horchata from carts continues to grow: Demi Moore, Carl Lewis, Anatoli Karpov, the Pope Ratzinguer, the Kings from Spain, Pedro Almodóvar, Julio Iglesias, Extremoduro, Luis Miguel, Rita Marley, Rossi de Palma, etc.
Together with local chefs such as Ximo Saez or Josep Quintana de Torrijos, and together with small companies from other sectors, such as Xixona nougat (Hijos de Manuel Picó), Sueca chocolate (Comes), or Turis honey (El Melero), Món Orxata presents a whole range of products derived from tiger nuts:
Tigernut Nougat, Chocolate of Horchata, Liquor Cream of Tigernut Milk, Honey with tigernuts, Jam of Tigernuts and Oranges, Sweets made with Tigernuts, etc.
“Labor Reconciliation & Balance” Award.
Vegan Milker® by ChufaMix®
We have an inspiring idea , Vegan Milker ® by Chufamix,which becomes an invention globally patented in the USA, Europe, China, Mexico, etc.
A cult kitchen utensil in the vegan and food intolerance world, 100% Made in Spain, which allows you to make at home tigernut horchata and other vegetable “milks” at home from oats, soybeans, almonds, rice, coconut, hemp, etc.
“Labour Conciliation” Award dfrom the Valencia City Council and “Promotion of the Valencian” from the Valencian Government.
The distinguished gourmet and food journalist José Carlos Capel personally visits us and Mikel López Iturriaga (El Comidista), the super gastronomic spanish blogger, influencer and food trends journalist also writes about us.
Slow Food movement
We receive the “Handcraft Product” Award from the Valencial Government.
We start collaborating giving conferences about tigernuts & orxata with the colleagues of the Slow Food movement.
Món Orxata in family bakeries
We launch Món Orxata in bottle (unpasteurized and only 5 days old) in family bakeries in Valencia that welcome the initiative with love and enthusiasm.
We are present also in family bakeries in Barcelona thanks to our Catalan partner Jordi Rivera, the prestigious organic ice cream maker of the mythical Bio& Zero Waste “Bodevici”.
Located in the heart of the Gracia neighborhood, we installed our organic horchatería Món Orxata in Barcelona at Bodevici (c/Torrijos 21, 08012, Gracia, Barcelona).
Tigernut Tours & Trial against Facebook
We professionalize the “Tigernut Tour” that we have been doing since 2006.
“Sustainability” Award from the Ministry of Sustainable Economy.
Facebook deletes our account without explanation or prior notification, hanging a sign that claims: “Món Orxata, “permanently closed.””.
To this day, we continue to fight to get back the 7 years of our history that they have stolen abusing of their monopoly power and harming our honor and digital identity.
Research CSIC (Scientific National Council)-Chemistry University of Prague-University of Valencia
The results of the chemical-nutritional research carried out for two years by the CSIC, the Chemical University of Prague and the Faculty of Pharmacy of the University of Valencia, with wide media repercussion, are presented.
The research, promoted by Món Orxata, allows us to understand the intense chemical-nutritional difference between Natural Horchata and ultra-pasteurized industrial horchatas.
Context “Tigernut Golden Nose”
We have an idea that artisan tigernut milk specialists from Alicante, Castellón and Valencia join in: the “Tigernut Orxata Nose” contest.
The objective of the contest is not to see who makes the best Raw Horchata because real artisan horchatas are like real good wines, each one is different.
The objective of the contest is to see who is able in a blind test to recognize 10 different hansdcrafted tigernut milks from different artisans masters.
It wins the contest the one who more orxatas identify. Only at the end will the numbers of each glass be discovered so that people know what artisan master is behind what tigernut milk.
It was a sunny, festive and fun day at the Citi Council Square of Valencia with over 100 participants that would not have been possible without the involvement of the social enterprise Novaterra and the Subies and Rin horchaterías.
European Digital Justice
Europe declares abusive the “Geographic Jurisdiction”clause that Silicon Valley technology companies impose to European citizens and companies forcing them to litigate in US courts in case of problems or disagreements with these tech multinationals. Today, when you click on “I accept” the conditions of Facebook, Amazon, Google, etc., this clause no longer exists and in case of dispute the trial will be in Europe. This is a direct consequence of the legal precedent that the Món Orxata trial against Facebook established inspiring and pushing the European institutions to act.
Pandemic & TeleOrxata
With all the artisan horchateros closed due to the pandemic, we have no choice but to reinvent ourselves again and together with the Subies tigernut milkery we launch TeleOrxata”.
Vegan Milker® by Chufamix, leader in Europe
Vegan Milker® becomes Europe’s No. 1 Selling kitchen toll and/or machine to make plant milks at home and the best-selling “hand blender accessory” online.
We collaborate with the National Superior Council for Scientific Research (CSIC) in its research on the Microbiota and Intestinal Flora giving away for testing with humans purpose our Raw, Sugar Free, and certified Organic Tigernut Milk. The objective is to analyze how does affect the income of raw non sugared tigernut milk to the Intestinal Flora, if it does, analyzing feces before and after. The research is made public in 2022.
Raw Tigernut Milk without added sugar improves the Intestinal Flora
The research in which we have collaborated is published in the prestigious scientific journal “Nutrients” and the National Superior Scientific Council CSIC agrees with Món Orxata to continue investigating “resistant starch” which is exclusive to the Raw Tigernut Milk (unpasteurized) and the main reason, together with the high content of in polyphenols, of the promising results obtained.
The main conclusion of the study, tested on humans, is that drinking a glass of natural, unpasteurized, vegan and sugar-free tigernut milk for three days in a row improves the bacteriological patterns of the intestinal microbiota.
The Raw Tigernut Milk is consolidated as a healthy food and the research is published in over 100 magazines, newspapers, etc.
At Món Orxata we are proud to have had a key contribution in three of the four most important scientific investigations carried out on tiger nuts and horchata this 21st century.
(400) 20TH ANNIVERSARY of MÓN ORXATA.
Despite two tremendous global crises, a looming recession, and a pandemic that shut us down for a year and a half, we can happily proclaim that:
WE KEEP WALKING!
We renew our outdated website with the help of the wonderful young people from Alicante Garajedoce.