A day of eating in Spain can be a culinary adventure, as the country is known for its delicious and diverse cuisine. From traditional dishes such as paella and tapas, to modern fusion cuisine, there is something for every taste. Spain is also famous for its wine, and a day of eating in Spain would not be complete without sampling some of the local vintages. It can be an interesting cultural experience to explore the different regions of Spain and their unique culinary offerings.
Do you know what you can do in Spain? Are you curious about the typical Spanish food? It is said that the Spanish people probably eat more times throughout the day than most people around the world. Spaniards LOVE their food! A typical person eats around 4 – 6 meals a day though it can vary depending on the location in Spain. Curiously enough, lunch starts late, but dinner starts later.
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Below is a brief description of Spanish meals, from breakfast to dinner, and examples of typical foods in Spain.
El desayuno (breakfast): It is very common that Spanish people to skip their breakfast, opting instead for only a quick cup of coffee or milk before heading out the door for work. A typical breakfast is something small and sweet. Also, Spanish people eat toast in the morning. These are some choices:
- Magdalenas (muffins).
- Churros con chocolate.
- Café con leche (coffee with milk).
- Zumo de naranja (orange juice).
El aperitivo (appetizer): In Spain, an aperitivo is marked with a drink and a bite of something meant to improve the appetite. In general, people have an appetizer right before lunch, but also it’s normal to have it before any meal. Some examples of aperitivos are:
- Vermú (vermouth). Spanish people also drink beer as an aperitif.
- A bowl of marinated Spanish olives.
- Spanish cheese.
- Patatas bravas (spicy potatoes) dressed with spicy tomato sauce.
- Pincho de tortilla (a slice of potato omelet).
- Croquetas (croquettes).
La comida (lunch): In Spain, lunch is the biggest meal of the day. Spaniards believe in taking their time and enjoying their meals, so lunchtime can easily last an hour and a half or longer, depending on their schedule. Another important thing is that Spanish people ALWAYS have bread on the table during lunchtime. Many restaurants offer menú del día (menu of the day). This set menu typically offers three to six options each for both a first and a second course. Those two courses plus bread, a drink, and either dessert or coffee have a set price. Some of the foods are:
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- Cocido madrileño (a traditional chickpea stew prepared with noodles, meat, and/or vegetables).
- Paella (saffron rice with meat, seafood, etc. There are many varieties).
- Meats, like for example beef stew.
- Gazpacho (cold tomato soup).
La merienda (late afternoon snack): This meal is especially very important for children. The social element of the afternoon snack is just as important as the food itself. During the merienda, just like el almuerzo, the bread is involved. Some of the examples are:
- Bizcochos (cakes).
- Bocadillo (a type of sandwich served on a baguette).
- Croissants or baguette bread with chocolate.
- Fresh fruit.
La cena (dinner): The last meal of the day. Dinner in Spain is often light compared to lunch. Spain has a huge variety of dinner options, for example:
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- A simple salad.
- Tortilla de patatas (potato omelet).
- Fresh fish.
- Croquetas (croquettes).
By now you know Spaniards enjoy eating. But did you also know that food is involved in Spanish insults?
What are some curious facts about your country?