Spanish Food Culture

One of the most rewarding parts of traveling is trying foreign foods. Eating is part of your experience abroad. Act like a local and delve into a country’s traditional dish even if it is unrecognizable. Sip strong coffee from porcelain teacups and engage with the locals. Food is half the adventure.

Food plays a large role in European culture, especially in Spain. You have to be open to trying the unfamiliar. Don’t ask just try! Step out of your comfort zone and take a leap of faith -or should I say a bite of faith.  One of my favorite dishes was Churros con Chocolate. When I was in Oviedo, Spain, my one regret was trying the American restaurant…stay away from the “American” restaurants yikes! Immerse yourself in solely traditional foods. You can get your hamburger fix when you return home.

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The Spaniards rely on the mediterranean diet which is supposedly healthier than the American diet, but not if you eat fried churros and melted chocolate for every meal. “Hot chocolate” does not exist in Spain, it is pure melted chocolate, not the drinking kind and I found out the hard way. When in doubt, eat dessert. Gelato is a universal language. There is no comparison to American ice cream. You will inevitably turn into a dessert snob and ice cream will never be the same again. It is incredible how they managed to think up so many different cream-based flavors.

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The Mediterranean diet is rich with steamed veggies, meats and fish. Needless to say my host mom fed me well. My favorite meal was her steamed cucumber, carrots and garbanzo beans. Simple but elegant. Sometimes she would pair it with Tortilla Española, which is not the typical flour tortilla as many would assume.  It is an omelet-like dish with onions, eggs and potatoes, one of the staple spanish foods and it is to die for. I swear even the eggs taste different there. I could never snap a photo of it because it was gone before I had the chance.

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In conclusion, try everything. You will figure out what you like and don’t like quickly. I could not get used to blood sausage but at least I tried it! You have nothing to lose. Pair your lunches and dinners with rich wines and sangria. There is no limit to the food possibilities.
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Here is a link for some fun spanish recipes!

http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/collection/spanish

 

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