When I made the decision to study abroad in Spain, I took a huge leap outside of my comfort zone. I was knowledgeable about the top sites, but not much else. Especially not food. For the girl who grew up on boxed mac and cheese, Eggo waffles and kids cuisines, trying new foods is very much my weakness. I did not know what to eat in Spain or if I would even enjoy the food.
I knew that tapas were a Spanish staple, but had many questions about these tapas. Do we eat tapas for breakfast, lunch and dinner? What time do we eat said tapas? What are typical tapas and do they differ from the American restaurant Eclipse de Luna? In hopes that I am not the only one with these questions, let me break down the typical comida (food) in Spain. I think some things might surprise you!
Carbs. Simply put, carbs. This was the hardest part of acclimating to Spanish culture. I am used to starting my day with protein, fruits and veggies. True story – I didn’t eat protein until my second week in Spain. Cue my health panic mode.
Meal #2 is typically the largest meal of the day. Spaniards like to take their time at meals during the day, a stark contrast to our typical American 1 hour lunch break. Most Spaniards will head home for a nice cooked meal.
Dinner is served around my bedtime, 10pm and features lighter fare. Dinner is a meal where Spaniards take their time. They sit outside and enjoy a glass of Sangria. After a meal, they take in churros con chocolate. Spain has a very social culture and you will clearly witness this if you walk around town during dinner.
My personal favorite meal of the day. Is it a meal? I think so.