Here it is finally…the Best of Spain- food and drink post!!! Food is one of the best ways to learn about a culture or country. Spain is big on family and sharing, they move slower in life than in the US and it shows in their food and mealtime experiences.
First, a few fun facts:
Fried calamari and salads are on almost every menu. But beware, most of the salads will have tuna on them, even if you think it impossible by the menu description. I liked the addition of tuna but not everyone was thrilled.
Many bars and restaurants will give you olives! This makes me happy.
Mealtimes in Spain:
Breakfast is late. Many mornings there were no cafes or restaurants (or even the hotel free breakfast) open until 9am for breakfast. Since I’m not a big breakfast person so I really didn’t care if I ate or not. It was nice while on vacation that they day starts later- more sleep-in time! Breakfast food is usually boring (toast with tomatoes and toast with jam) so no pictures were necessary. Also I was usually still sleepy from late nights and no coffee so taking pictures didn’t even cross my mind 🙂
Lunch for us was anywhere between 1:30 and 3:00pm. Lunch is the biggest meal of they day here and we usually split a lot of tapas- my favorite!
Dinner is late! Eating before 9pm is like eating before 5pm in the US- early bird special time. We did tend to eat earlier between 8-10pm because we are tourists and that is acceptable 🙂
Favorite food style: tapas!
Tapas are cheap, shareable, and quick to the table. The group got to taste so many different dishes just because we were sharing among the table. The only trouble with this is that the group needs to be similar in eating style as you. We had one vegetarian who did eat fish so we tended to stay away from meat from most of our orders. And no hogging food! Share equally!
Food came in tapas portions, 1/2, or full portions. If you wanted a big salad or a meal size calamari/omlet/fish portion, you could order that as well. But that is boring and limits the number of dishes you get to taste.
Favorite drink at dinner: Vino tinto (red wine)
Especially this guy:
Favorite drink after dinner: Mojitos
You can’t just have one.
Favorite drink before dinner: Sangria
Sangria is much stronger than Tinto de Verano because it has brandy or some other liquor added as well as red wine. Sangria is much tastier but Tinto de Verano is smarter if you are really thirsty.
Other notables dishes: Paella
Real paella is a bit gummy and less saucy than I thought. I found out that I like squid ink- especially in my paella- who knew!
I have loved churros since my childhood. These were hot, fresh from the fryer, and very tasty. I had a stomach ache after one though. Ask for one order and share with friends!
Ricotta cheesecake in Cordoba:
My favorite dessert of the whole trip. Ricotta cheesecake is sweet but not too sweet. Everyone in the group was a fan.
Free food in Granada:
Order a drink in Granada and free food comes out too! It was actually very tasty free food.
Little beers for 2 Euro
Little beers are the best. Each one is about 2 Euros. They are enough to wet your whistle without giving you a buzz. I wish the US did more of this so you can try different varieties of beer.
*Visit Lean Lena for Tasty Tuesday link-ups