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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

When in Spain, Eat like Locals do

I asked the kids at home if they would like to go the club for swimming. They didn’t want to go swimming but agreed to come with me to spend few hours at the club and probably try some Canarian food.

Our social club is a great place to spend few hours. It offers beautiful view from all sides and over looks the San Marco beach that has black sand. It is well-equipped club with tennis lawn, play area for kids, swimming pool, sauna, gym, indoor games room and a small restaurant.

We headed straight to the restaurant hoping to eat a typical Spanish food. The menu card had pizzas, sandwiches and few tapas.

We ordered squid fritters, French fries, salads and tortilla. The bread was freshly baked and the lunch was filling. I was hoping I had brought my chili sauce with me because Spanish don’t eat chilies at all and many times I find the food bland.

tuna salad

freshly baked bread

vegetarian salad which contained mayonnaise,pineapple and raisins

egg omelette called tortilla

squid fritters

Okay, I agree what we actually ate were just tapas, one of Spain’s great contributions to world’s gastronomy, and Spanish are seen indulging in this kind of tapas at any hour of the day, eating tapas and sipping beer or cortado (strong coffee) is their general passtime. It’s a good way to sample variety of tastes in short time.

Spanish eating habits are very much different from other Europeans. Spanish normally don’t have breakfast like a king but instead have small meals during day with a large meal during siesta time.

For breakfast they have freshly squeezed fruit juice, sweet roll, croissant or pastries. If you go early mornings out, you are likely to see Spanish enjoying freshly fried Churros with hot chocolate.

At around 11am you see them again in the restaurants having their bigger breakfast, that’s ‘merienda’ or ‘elevenses’ which is always sandwich or ‘bocadillo’ made from baguette and filled with anything from tuna fish, cured ham, cheese or meat.

Lunch hour is the feast time for Spanish people. All the shops close from 1:30pm to 4pm and it’s siesta time. Proper meals at eaten at this time which consists of lentils with chorizo, rice and fish/poultry/meat. Their meal lasts for an hour and it’s a grand feast followed by desert or fruits. Even the restaurants are full during this time with offers of ‘menu del dia’ that is a three-course meal with fixed price and includes starters, mains and desserts. Bread and drinks are also included in the price and sometimes coffee as well. This is more economical that ordering a la carte.

All the shops close around 8pm, and Spanish people socialize after 8pm, eating tapas and sipping beer, to return home around 10pm.

Dinner is very light, just soup, salad and maybe a sandwich while enjoying their favorite TV programs in Spanish language only.

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