Although Spanish cuisine may vary by region, one thing always remains the same – that Spaniards adore their food and drink, and lots of it. You’ll need to bring a hearty appetite with you when visit Spain but to make the most of the fantastic local flavours, you should know how to eat like a local too.
We Brits are often told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but this couldn’t be less true for Spaniards whose breakfast, or ‘desayuno’, may consist only of a pastry and juice. There’s good reason for the light breakfast however, which is that Spaniards take their main meal of the day at lunchtime.
This meal, ‘Comida’ is eaten after 2pm and comprises of several courses, followed by coffee or numerous shots of liqueur. For the most authentic Spanish lunch experience order the ‘Menu del Dia’, a fixed-price menu on which you’ll always find the freshest local dishes.
Say Yes To Siesta
With so much food consumed, it’s no wonder that lunch is followed by a siesta until 4pm! Be aware that the majority of local establishments will be closed during this time while the owners take their naps, so as the old saying goes if you can’t beat them, join them.
This mid-afternoon break means that Spaniards seldom take their lighter evening meal, â€˜cena’, until 9pm. In the summer it’s not unusual for dinner to be served as late as midnight, but if you can’t wait that long why not head to the restaurants early to beat the local crowds.
Drink to Tradition
All that food is sure to make you a little thirsty, and as the Spanish have been polled as the fifth-highest consumers of alcohol in the world it’s never the wrong time of day for a drink! Like everything in life though, Spaniards drink slowly, so linger over a great glass of Spanish wine or ‘cerveza’ (beer) while you watch the world go by.
On the other hand if you’re avoiding alcohol or just want to enjoy a refreshing Spanish beverage, try some horchata, a blend of rice, almonds, cinnamon and sugar that is sure to be a hit especially with younger visitors. Whatever your choice, take time to learn how to dine, drink and siesta like a true Spaniard.
Author Bio: Victoria Cawthorne
Victoria is a travel blogger with a passion for music, theme parks, bikes, sewing, vegetarian food and road trips in camper vans. She has travelled extensively through Europe and North America and even lived abroad too, and has a natural passion for penning her experiences along the way.
I so LOVE a siesta! Even after 20 years of living back in the UK I still try to have one every afternoon … or maybe I’m just lazy 😉
Great ideas for a post! I’m a Spain addict and I love everything Spanish, so I could’t agree more: Siesta is mandatory!
I will always admire their way of life and the laid-back atmosphere in Spain. Maybe I’m lazy, too:)!
Gracias 🙂 Am currently enjoying a week in Grna Canaria getting a true does of the Spanish island lifestyle Miruna and it’s definitely very easy to slip into this way of life!
I am living in Colombia at the moment and siesta is also part of daily life here. I love it! I don’t usually have a nap, but it is a great time to do some exploring while the streets are empty!
Good way to make the most of the siesta constructively Luke 🙂 I lived in Greece for many years and still like to siesta even though I’ve been back in Uk for ages!