When we travel to another country, especially if we plan to live in that place for a while, food is one of the most important factors. Knowing the gastronomic customs, can help us to integrate better in that culture. For that reason, today I want to talk to you about some servings in Spain, that you should know before coming.
We Spaniards are unable to eat without bread, it is a fact. For us it is an indispensable and perfect accompaniment to any meal. In addition, we are experts in sandwiches, so much so that there are bars that have a menu of more than 5 sheets with different types of sandwiches. My favorite is the ‘chivito’, have you tried it already? It is a sandwich which contains: loin, lettuce, tomato, a fried egg, bacon, cheese, onion and mayonnaise. An authentic delicious pump!
In fact, we Spaniards like bread so much that we have the expression
Which means that a person is really good, kind. And being better than bread is really hard.
Unlike other countries that only have three meals a day, Spaniards have five different ones. Do you know which ones they are?
1- Breakfast → it is the first meal of the day and they say it is the most important. Coffee with milk, fruit, toasts or cereals are the most common foods that Spaniards have for breakfast.
2- Pre-Lunch → mid-morning, we begin to hear how our tummies roar and as the lunch hour does not arrive until two in the afternoon, we usually eat a toast with tomato and a coffee with milk.
3- Lunch → as we said, it arrives around two in the afternoon. If it’s Sunday, we Spaniards are used to eat as a family. In the case of Valencia, the paella on Sunday is one of the most special moments of the week. And after eating, we have the after-dinner (This is something that usually surprises foreigners when they visit us) we are able to spend hours and hours talking, drinking coffee or the occasional sweet during the after-dinner.
4- The snack → between five and six in the afternoon a small snack is taken: a piece of fruit or something of pastries is the most usual. But the best snacks are those of the children. I still remember the incredible nocilla sandwiches that my mother prepared for me. Unforgettable!
5- The dinner → about nine or ten at night, it’s time for dinner. It is very common for this food to be made while the family is watching the news of the day on television.
And you? Would you be able to eat five times a day like a Spaniard without exploding?
This delicious culinary duo is very famous in our country. It is tradition that young people end their nights of partying by having a good chocolate with churros with their friends. Also, if you come to Valencia during the popular Las Fallas party, you will see that the streets are full of mobile stands in which to you can recharge yourself tasting this sweet.
Do you know any expression related to chocolate? I will show you a very famous one:
The things clear and the chocolate thick (Las cosas claras y el chocolate espeso)
This is an expression that serves to express that we must take each thing as what it really is, speaking clearly, without ruminating or hiding information. This is because when chocolate arrived in Spain, it was marketed in two forms, watered down or thick, but the Spaniards opted for this last option; raising it as the only possible and authentic way to do something. Therefore, when you want to leave your ideas clear or when you want to call attention to someone who tries to deceive you, you can use this expression to put it in its place.
These are small portions of food that serve to accompany the drink in the bars.
One of the most surprising things is that, in many bars in Spain, they will serve them for free with your drink.
It is said that this tradition began in the wake of the ancient custom of using a piece of bread to cover the glass of the drink and thus prevent flies from entering it.
Do you know the most famous Spanish tapas? I give you a small list with my eight favorite tapas:
Article written by Rita Rodríguez Varela for Hispania ,escuela de español.