Friday, September 2, 2011


One thing is for sure, Spaniards love their food. But eating in Spain is much different than in the United States.  Here's the typical day of Spanish meals, when they are eaten, and sample menus:

El Desayuno (breakfast) is the smallest meal of the day and usually includes café con leche (espresso with hot milk), pan (toast), or churros.
Churros y café con leche
Tapas (little Spanish meals) are eaten after breakfast almost as a second breakfast, but before lunch.
Spanish love tapas so much. There's a common phrase here: Vamos a tapear! (Let’s go eat tapas!) A few of the most popular tapas are tortilla española (Spanish omelet), patatas bravas (potatoes with spicy brava sauce), and gambas al ajillo (shrimp in garlic sauce). 
Patatas bravas
La Comida/Almuerzo (lunch). In Spain, lunch is the largest meal of the day. And when I say large, I mean huge! Lunch is frequently multiple courses--especially if you go out to eat and order the menú del día (menu of the day). Some standard lunch fare items include: gazpacho (cold tomato soup), sopa (soup), pescado (fish), pollo con patatas (chicken with fries), ensalada mixta con atún (salad with tuna), flan, helado (ice cream), and café con leche.
Also, bread is always served with meals in Spain.  However, it is mostly used as another utensil to mop up sauces.
Another thing about the lunch period in Spain; normally, Spaniards have a 2-3 hour break from work or school in order to eat lunch and take a siesta (nap). During this time, the entire country closes from about 2:00pm to 4:30/5:00pm. 

La Merienda (snack) is eaten in the late afternoon/early evening. This snack can be anything since it's really just something to hold the Spaniards over until their dinner later that evening around 9:30PM. It could be a piece of toast, postre (pastry), or jamón serrano (cured ham).
La Cena (dinner) is eaten late in the evening anytime between 9-11PM.  It is typically smaller than lunch in size.  A dinner might include fresh fish, paella, roast chicken, patatas fritos (fried potatoes), or arroz (rice).
Tortilla Española
After dinner, the night is only just beginning for the Spaniards.  On the weekends it's not unusual for a family to return home round 3 or 4 o’clock in the morning. So, after a late-night dinner, Spaniards continue their socializing at local cafés or go out to a nightclub or disco-pub.
Club in Madrid
On the way home from an evening of fun, one might stop by a churreria (a churro stand). To accompany one's churros, hot chocolate is the drink of choice! But chocolate in Spain is not like the chocolate in the USA. Spanish chocolate is made hot and very thick. And tt is usually made from fresh, whole milk. 
Churros con chocolate
The past couple of days during orientation, Soo, Zahra, and I have been trying different menus del día. One day we went to "Met Bar & Lounge" for lunch.

Ensalada con queso de cabra y miel (Salad with goat cheese and honey)

Pollo a la parilla con verduras (Grilled chicken with vegetables)
Postres! (Desserts!)
So that's a little taste of Spain, if you will.

Yesterday we had a tour of the Reina Sofía Museo (Queen Sophia Museum) and today we took a day trip to Segovia, so I owe you recaps of both of those! Stay tuned!

Vale! Bueno, hasta luego! (See you later!)

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