There was one thing that all of us kids looked forward to every day at the beach, the barquillero. A barquillero is a person who sells a special kind of wafers. But it wasn’t just the wafers we wanted, it was the whole process of getting the wafers.
The barquillero wallked all along the beach, stopping when he was called like an ice cream man does at the beaches around here, at least at the NJ beaches. The children would spin the roulette wheel that pointed to different numbers from 1 to 4. Depending on the number it landed on, that was the number of wafers you would get. It was a game we all liked to play every day.
The wafers are made of a sweet baked wheat dough without yeast and sweetened with sugar and honey . The wafers are corrugated but flat and thin profile with a shape similar to a boat, hence its name,”barquillos,” which means little boats.
While we looked forward to the Barquillero, in the same way, the adults waited for the coffee man on the beach every day. He would go around kind of singing…”cafe…cafe…”
This work is part of my Hiraeth (meaning “homesickness”) series.